Hepatitis C virus

Hepatitis C virus

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Credit: BSIP DUCLOUX/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Artist's impression of the possible structure of the hepatitis C virus. By early 1995, this virus had still never been seen under a microscope. It is the cause of hepatitis C liver disease. At centre, a yellow circle contains RNA (ribonucleic acid) genetic material. Around the RNA is a symmetrical protein coat (capsid) coloured grey. The protein coat is enclosed in a phospholipid envelope (brown), studded with white protein molecules that help the virus attach to its target cell. Hepatitis C is spread largely by blood transfusions. It causes inflammation of the liver with jaundice and flu. There are screening tests for this virus, but no vaccine as yet.

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Keywords: abstr., abstract, biology, hepatitis c, microbiology, picornavirus, rna virus, virology, virus, viruses

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