Vampire Viruses have been recently discovered on US soil for the first time.
- Vampire Viruses are pathogens that latch onto other viruses in order to replicate themselves.
- They emerge when a bacteriophage attaches to a soil-based virus, utilising its “life” for independent survival.
- This viral relationship between two pathogens is called a satellite and a helper.
- The satellite is the infectious strand that relies on the helper for support through its life cycle.
- Satellites depend on both their host organism and helper virus to complete its life cycle.
- The satellite virus depends on the helper virus to build the protective shell that covers its genetic material, called a capsid or to help it replicate its DNA.
- Most satellite viruses contain a gene that allows them to integrate into the host cell’s genetic material after they enter the cell.
- This enables the satellite to reproduce whenever a helper enters the cell from then on.
- The host cell also copies the satellite’s DNA and its own when it divides.