Name: Shanthea R.
Date: November 2003
What is a host cell?
It depends on a lot of things. Usually a host cell is one that has some other organism living
inside of it. For example, viruses can only multiply by living inside of another cell. The
cell it is living in is called the host cell. Cells that have bacteria inside them are also
called host cells.
A host cell usually is the name given to one cell
that was infected by a virus or a bacteria, for
example. It becames the host cell of that virus or
bacteria, and the cell/whole organism may become
In that conditions the "guest", pathogens, obtains
nourishment from the host and also effective
conditions for reproduction and growing.
But also the host protects itself evolving defenses
and resistence to further invasions.
The study of host cell - pathogens interactions is
very important and help the scientists to discover
medicines to fight the diseases caused by
the pathogens invasion.
And thanks for asking NEWTON!
(Dr. Mabel Rodrigues)
A host cell is a general term which refers to any cell which is infected by a virus. Just as
you are a host when you have guest over to your house, a cell is a host when a virus enters
the cell (although in this case, the virus is an unwelcome guest!).
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Update: June 2012