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MCAT Question A Day - 7/22/13 - Answer!

Shingles, a disorder localized in the host’s nerve cells, results from the reactivation of the same viral species that previously caused chicken pox in that individual. This situation, involving a “latent” virus in human cells, is analogous to which of the following in bacterial cells?

A.  Temperate phages
B.  Lytic phages
C.  Transformation using plasmids
D.  All of the above

The correct answer is (A). Temperate phages remain latent in the genetic material of the host cell indefinitely, until they become reactivated and cause the lysis (lytic cycle) of the host cell. Choice (C) refers to a method used in recombinant DNA technology.