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Biology LibreTexts

21: Viruses

Viruses are acellular, parasitic entities that are not classified within any kingdom. Viruses are not cells and cannot divide. They infect a host cell and use the host’s replication processes to produce identical progeny virus particles. Viruses infect organisms as diverse as bacteria, plants, and animals and exist in a netherworld between a living organism and a nonliving entity. Living things grow, metabolize, and reproduce. Viruses replicate, but to do so, they are entirely dependent on their host cells.

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