What is Virology?
Virology is the scientific study of viruses and the diseases that they cause. Viruses are the most numerous type of biological entity and can infect all types of life forms from animals and plants to microorganisms. Viruses have been described as an “organism at the edge of life” they resemble organisms as they possess genes and undergo natural selection, however, although they contain the building blocks of life they do not have a cellular structure which is seen as the basic unit of life. Viruses do not have their own metabolism and therefore require a host cell to reproduce. This requirement to enter cells to reproduce makes them extremely small, the average virus is only 1/100 th the size of a bacterium. This combination of size and prevalence in the environment means we come into contact with them through many different ways, able to be transmitted by insects, animals, blood, saliva and faecal matter they are unavoidable in our daily lives. So the study of how we can combat viruses spreading and how they can be treated is key.
Why is virology necessary?
Viruses are untreatable by antibiotics and although antivirals have made developments in recent years many illnesses caused by viruses are still untreatable, in the UK an average of 600 people die each year from the flu, in 2016 34 million work days were lost due to sickness and the average adult catches the flu every 5 years. In nations which lack the infrastructure to deal with outbreaks, viruses can pose an even bigger risk, in 2 years Ebola killed 11500 people in Africa between 2015 and 2017 and risked spreading to Europe and the UK. Studying Viruses and how to treat or prevent them can lead to the reduction of death due to infections and in an economic increase due to saved time in the workforce. Viral infections can be prevented from spreading with correct measures in place including effective cleaning practices and use of products which have been proved to be effective in the removal of viruses and viral particles.
MSL and Virology
MSL is able to offer a wide array of virus testing of disinfectant products intended to treat the spread of infection whether for the household or in a medical or veterinary setting. Our new Virology Laboratory is able to test to the latest standards and our
technical background will be able to offer you advice on what testing suits your product and its intended use best. For a cost-effective and accurate testing please contact our support team.