GC: n

S: WHO – (last access: 4 November 2014); MEDLP – (last access: 4 November 2014).

N: 1. Late 14c., “venomous substance,” from Latin virus “poison, sap of plants, slimy liquid, a potent juice. Main modern meaning “agent that causes infectious disease” first recorded 1728.
2. Virus is an infectious agent of small size and simple composition that can multiply only in living cells of animals, plants, or bacteria. The name is from a Latin word meaning “slimy liquid” or “poison.”
3. The earliest indications of the biological nature of viruses came from studies in 1892 by the Russian scientist Dmitry I. Ivanovsky and in 1898 by the Dutch scientist Martinus W. Beijerinck. Beijerinck first surmised that the virus under study was a new kind of infectious agent, which he designated contagium vivum fluidum, meaning that it was a live, reproducing organism that differed from other organisms.
4. Both of these investigators found that a disease of tobacco plants could be transmitted by an agent, tobacco mosaic virus. This virus and those subsequently isolated would not grow on an artificial medium and were not visible under the light microscope.
5. In independent studies in 1915 by the British investigator Frederick W. Twort and in 1917 by the French Canadian scientist Félix H. d’Hérelle, lesions in cultures of bacteria were discovered and attributed to an agent called bacteriophage
6. Viruses cause diseases in bacteria, plants, animals and humans.
7. Examples of diseases caused by viruses include yellow fever and smallpox, which can also potentially be used as biological weapons by terrorists.
8. In the fields of Computer Programs and Programming and IT Security, virus is a program that propagates itself by modifying other programs to include a possibly changed copy of itself and that is executed when the infected program is invoked. Synonyms: computer virus, electronic virus.
9. Collocations:

  • Adj.: deadly | virulent | Aids, flu, hepatitis, herpes, HIV, measles, etc. | computer.
  • Verb + virus: be infected with, contract, develop | carry | pass (on), spread, transmit | isolate | inactivate.
  • Virus + verb: attack sb/sth | replicate.
  • Virus + noun: infection | vaccine.

10. Cultural Interrelation: We can mention, among others, two novels and film adaptations.

  • I Am Legend (1954), written by Richard Matheson, and the movie adaptation of the same name I Am Legend (2007), directed by Francis Lawrence.
  • Outbreak (1988), written by Robin Cook, and the television film adaptation called Virus (also known as Formula for Death), directed by Armand Mastroianni in 1995.

S: 1. OED – (last access: 6 November 2014). 2 to 5. EncBrit – (last access: 6 November 2014). 6 to 8. TERMIUM PLUS – (last access: 29 November 2019). 9. OZDIC – (last access. 11 May 2015). 10. (last access: 16 June 2015); (last access: 15 June 2015); IMDb – (last access: 15 June 2015).


CR: antifungal, arthropod, bacteriophage, bacterium, computer virus, coronavirus, COVID-19, enterovirus, fungus, herd immunity, incidence, measles, microorganism, MMR vaccine, parasite, parotitis, pathogen, pathogenic, penicillin, rubella, strain, target cell, trachoma, viral.