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Virus-induced disease occurs as a result of both direct cell destruction caused by virus replication and damage to the infected cells due to the host immune response obtained against the infectious agent. In addition, viruses are also able to escape from the host's immunological surveillance and adapt a strategy of nonlytic replication, thus establishing persistent, or chronic infections during which the typical hallmarks of virus infection-cytolysis and inflammation-are not present, but the host's differentiated functions may be affected. This, in turn, can disrupt homeostasis and lead to disease. Viruses are thus likely to be responsible for a wide variety of clinical illnesses, currently of unknown etiology, that affect the endocrine, immune, nervous and other specialized cellular functions of the host. © 1997 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Original publication




Journal article


Principles of Medical Biology

Publication Date





365 - 379