Computer Virus Analogy

Stuart Kuhstoss sk at
Fri Jan 5 12:38:12 EST 1996

In Article <DKKtnI.D1p at>,
pete_leaback at ("Peter Leaback") wrote:

Deleted stuff

>For a computer virus to check that it has not already infected a program,
>it must check some characteristic that is uniquely identifiable. It is
>this identification that virus hunting programs can look for.
>I was wondering if there is an analogy in the biological world. When a 
>virus infects a cell, I would have thought it would be counter productive
>for a second infection.
>Is it known how many times a single cell can be infected ? 
>Pete Leaback.

Yes, there is an analogy in the biological world.  As an example, a
bacterial virus (phage) called lambda utilizes a system to prevent
reinfection by another lambda or related phage.  This phenomenon is called
immunity.  In this case, a single cell should be infected with only a single
phage.  Obviously, there are cases where this immunity fails.

Stu Kuhstoss

More information about the Virology mailing list