Meaning of Virulence (What it is, Concept and Definition)

What is Virulence:

Virulence is virulent quality. At the same time, virulent is used as adjective to indicate that something is malignant or poisonous, in the case of medicine it is caused by a virus. The word virulence is of Latin origin “virulentus” what does it mean “full of poison”.

As such, the virulence measures the degree or capacity of the microorganism to cause damage and, pathogenicity indicates the quality or characteristic of the microorganism in question. Virulence varies depending on the host since one type of bacteria can be pathogenic for vertebrates in general and a specific species of that bacteria can be pathogenic only for a genus of vertebrates.

The virulence of a pathogen can vary depending on the host. Thus, it may happen that a genus of bacteria is pathogenic for all vertebrates, but that a specific species of that bacteria is very virulent only for one species of vertebrates.

Synonyms of the word virulence are: malignancy, mordacity, irony, harshness, etc. In view of the above, virulence is the biting style or language that a person uses in a speech or textfor example: “today my mother spoke to me with such virulence and I had never seen her like that.”

Many times, virulence is confused with violence or aggressiveness, which is a serious error, so it can be deduced that speaking with virulence has negative consequences since it provokes confrontations with the recipient of the message and, it is a mistake to use this type of language if what is sought is to convince or persuade an individual about a speech, argument, proposal, among others. Due to the existence of other ways of communicating and with another tone or style, the healthiest thing is for the individual to take it into account and practice it to establish healthy relationships with other individuals, without generating rejection and, in necessary cases achieve its objective, as for example a president should not and cannot have a speech with such virulence since it will attract the rejection of his followers, it is best to use a passive, unalterable, respectful tone and thus gain population.

Virulence and pathogenicity

The virulence It allows measuring the capacity of a microorganism to cause a disease and it is expressed with a lethal dose of 50 0 LD50, a value that refers to the minimum amount of microorganisms that produce infection in half of a population. It is noteworthy that the term pathogenicity It points to the ability to develop and cause disease, so when a microorganism, be it bacteria, virus, fungus, has the ability or capacity to produce a disease, it is called pathogenic.

Virulence factors

They are called Virulence factors to the intrinsic characteristics, the route of entry into the body, the effects of the host’s defense mechanisms and, to any component that is essential for the microorganism to cause diseases and develop its ability to do so. It is noteworthy that an element that serves for the development of microorganisms in vitro is not a virulence factor, but an element necessary to invade the bloodstream is considered a virulence factor.

The elimination or decrease in virulence of a microorganism It is the basis of vaccination and these are called attenuated. Vaccination consists of the use of attenuated viruses, which are characterized by not causing harm to health but are capable of inducing an immune response.

Likewise, the extent of pathogenesis measured by the host is important because the host can produce an aggressive response to the infection and defense mechanisms cause damage to the host’s tissues as the infection weakens.

Virulence and violence

Individuals and the media use the term virulence with that of violence. In this sense, a serious error is made since violence is related to abuse, force, coercion and virulence, it is a speech or writing that stands out for being malignant or poisonous. That is why the term virulence should not be used when it is intended to be indicated as a synonym for violent and, use the correct ones such as: devastating, impulsive, voracious, etc.

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