Viruses are small DNA- or RNA-based infectious agents that can replicate only inside living cells of a host organism. Most people know what a virus is, and many of us harbor at least one or two of them at some point during the cold and flu season. However, I would guess that many of us do not know what a virophage is, even though they seem to be more common than previously thought.
Virophages were first discovered and characterized by LaScola et al. in 2008 (1) during studies with Acanthamoeba polyphaga mimivirus (APMV), the largest known virus—so large that it is visible by optical microscopy. Continue reading “Virophages: The Enemy of My Enemy is My Friend”