BSIP VEM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY BSIP VEM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Hepatitis B. Illustration of the torso of a man with a hepatitis B virus superimposed over his liver. The virus is the cause of hepatitis B liver disease. The symmetrical protein coat, or capsid (yellow), contains the DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid) genetic material of the virus. The blue particles around the virus contain no genetic material but are simply capsids covered with hepatitis B surface antigens. Hepatitis B is found in the blood and so is spread amongst drug addicts who share needles. It causes liver inflammation with jaundice and influenza (flu). Donated blood is screened to prevent infection from transfusions and there is a vaccine for high risk groups.
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