RICHARD BIZLEY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY RICHARD BIZLEY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Hepatitis C viruses. Artwork of hepatitis C virus particles (virions). The virus consists of a core of RNA (ribonucleic acid) enclosed in a capsid, and surrounding by a glycoprotein envelope (purple). Inserted in the envelope are surface proteins (brown and purple spheres), which help the virus attach to its host cell. The hepatitis C virus infects liver cells causing an inflammatory disease that can lead to degeneration and scarring (cirrhosis). It is transmitted by blood-to-blood contact.
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