While people were aware of diseases of both humans and animals now known to be caused by viruses many hundreds of years ago, the concept of a virus as a distinct entity dates back only to the very late 1800s. Although the term had been used for many years previously to describe disease agents, the word “virus” comes from a Latin word simply meaning “slimy fluid”.
Part 1: Filters and Discovery
Part 2: The Ultracentrifuge, Eggs and Flu
Part 3: Phages, Cell Culture and Polio
Part 4: RNA Genomes and Modern Virology
A Short History of the Discovery of Viruses