Tissue tropism

Tissue tropism is the cells and tissues of a host that support growth of a particular virus or bacterium.Some bacteria and viruses have a broad tissue tropism and can infect many types of cells and tissues. Other viruses may infect primarily a single tissue. For example, rabies virus affects primarily neuronal tissue.

Influencing factors

Factors influencing viral tissue tropism include:

  • The presence of cellular receptors permitting viral entry.
  • Availability of transcription factors involved in viral replication.
  • The molecular nature of the viral tropogen.

The cellular receptors are the proteins found on a cell or viral surface. These receptors are like keys, allowing the viral cell to fuse with or attach itself to a cell. The way that these proteins are acquired is through a similar process to that of an infection cycle.

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