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Carnivores and cold virus

Fekete Lab KiernanA at hermes.bc.edu
Sun Mar 26 16:45:13 EST 1995

In article <xE-ZmTw.ksturts at delphi.com>, Keith Sturts <ksturts at delphi.com>

> I'm not a virologist but am interested in the reason why some families of
> mammals are not susceptible to some viruses, such as the common cold virus
> in humans.  It is hard to find this information and I thought some one here
> would know.
> What is the physiological, metabolic, or other mechanism operating that
> prohibits the common cold virus from effecting dogs, for instance.
> In those viruses that do or do not attack families of mammals, are the
> cellular considerations, differentials, etc., always the same?  (I realize
> that I am hardly using the proper terminology as a layman, but I hope
> most know what I mean.
> Thanks for your patience and any help you can give me on this subject.
> Keith Sturts


Keith, I hope this answers your question ----

The infection of a cell by a virus requires the binding of a protein on
the virus's surface to a receptor on the host cell.  Without this
interaction, the virus is unable to enter the host cell and replicate. 
The viral receptor-binding protein varies among strains of virus, and it
is instrumental in determining the host range of a virus -- ie, if an
animal doesn't express the receptor to which the virus must bind, then the
animal cannot be infected.

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