BSIP VEM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY BSIP VEM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Hepatitis C. Computer artwork of the structure of the hepatitis C virus. It is the cause of hepatitis C liver disease. Part of the symmetrical protein coat, or capsid (blue), can be seen at centre. The protein coat is enclosed in a phospholipid envelope (olive), studded with protein molecules that help the virus attach to its target cell. Hidden under the protein coat is the RNA (ribonucleic acid) genetic material. Hepatitis C is found in the blood and so is spread amongst drug addicts who share needles. It causes liver inflammation with jaundice and influenza. There are screening tests to stop hepatitis C infection from blood transfusions, but no vaccine.
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