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"Attenuated" redirects here. For the bacterial use of the term, see Attenuator (genetics)
The verb "attenuate" means "to become weak."
Attenuation in virology is reducing the virulence of a virus, whilst keeping it viable (or 'live'), for the purpose of creating a vaccine. It is the counterpart of the vaccines produced by 'killing' the virus (inactivated vaccine)
Viruses may be attenuated via passage of the virus through a foreign host, such as :
The initial viral population is applied to the foreign host. In all likelihood one of these will possess a mutation that enables it to infect the new host. However this mutant will normally have a lower virulence in the original host, as the rest of the genetic information for interacting with the host hasn't changed, enabling it to infect them, but cause less damage, and so it acts as a vaccine.
Advantages of Attenuated Vaccines
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Attenuated_virus". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|