Virion, Viroids and Prions


An intact, infective virus particle that is non-replicating exterior to a host cell and is termed as virion.


A viroid is a circular molecule of ss RNA with no capsid. Viroids cause numerous economically vital plant diseases, comprising Citrus exocortis.

Prions (pronounced “preeons”):

It is a proteinaceous infectious particle. They are the causative agents for about a dozen fatal degenerative disorders of the central nervous systems of humans and other animals. Example: Creutzfeldt-Jacob Disease (CJD), Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) generally termed as mad cow disease, and so on. They are very exclusive among infectious agents since they have no genetic material that is, DNA or RNA. Stanley Prusiner did most of the work on prions and was awarded Nobel Prize in the year 1998.

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