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Who would ever imagine that a virus can be infected? To tell the truth, the question did not even arise, a
virus not being regarded as a living organism
The giant virus Mamavirus, which infects Amoeba, is itself likely to be infected by a
small virus. And this last, which absolutely needs Mamavirus to multiply, is not satisfied
to benefit from the giant virus: it blocks its proliferation. This discovery, carried out by
the team of Didier Raoult, at the medical college of Marseille.
The tiny satellite virus, called Sputnik , is the first described Virophage, so named because
its behavior resembles that of bacteria-targeting viruses known as Bacteriophages.
- Ameba infects by Mamavirus, infected to him by Sputnik -
After the infection, one sees appearing a “viral machine ” in the cytoplasm of
the infected ameba. It is about a structure quite visible with the electron
microscope, which h resembles the cellular core. It is within this viral machine
that the genome of the virus is retorted, and that the viral particles are
synthesized and assembled.
These results obviously caused agitation in the scientific community
interested at the evolutionary origin of the viruses and, beyond, at the origin of
the alive one.
Since the giant virus Mamavirus is infected, doesn't prove that it is a living organism?
There are viruses which approach the bacteria: it is once again a beautiful illustration in which the definition
established at a given time reflect only one partial knowledge, and which it is necessary to make them evolve.
By BELHOCINE Mohamed