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Animal Viruses


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Animal Virus Types
Animal Viruses

Influenza Virus Particles

Image: CDC/ Dr. F. A. Murphy

Animal Virus Types

There are several types of animal viruses. They are commonly grouped into families according to the type of genetic material present in the virus. Animal virus types include:
  • Double-Stranded DNA

    Double-stranded DNA viruses usually have a polyhedral or complex structure. Examples include: Papilloma (cervical cancer and warts), Herpes (simplex I and II), Epstein-Barr virus (mononucleosis) and Variola (smallpox).
  • Single-Stranded DNA

    Single-stranded DNA viruses usually have a polyhedral structure and depend on adenoviruses for parts of their growth.
  • Double-Stranded RNA

    Double-stranded RNA viruses usually have a polyhedral structure with the diarrhea viruses being a common example.
  • Single-Stranded RNA

    Single-stranded RNA viruses are usually of two subtypes: those that can serve as messenger RNA (mRNA) and those that serve as a template for mRNA. Examples include: Ebola viruses, Rhinovirus (common cold), HIV, Rabies and the Influenza viruses.

Animal Virus Vaccines

Vaccines are made from harmless variants of viruses to stimulate an immune defense against the 'real' virus. While vaccines have all but eliminated some illnesses such as smallpox, they are usually preventative in nature. They can help prevent an infection, but do not work after the fact. Once a person has been infected with a virus, little if anything can be done to cure a viral infection. The only thing that can be done is to treat the disease symptoms.
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