BSIP DUCLOUX / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY BSIP DUCLOUX / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Hepatitis B. Computer artwork of the hepatitis B virus, the cause of hepatitis B liver disease. At centre are two strands of the DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) genetic material within the hexagonally symmetrical protein coat or capsid. The capsid is enclosed in a rounded phospholipid envelope covered in surface proteins. Hepatitis B is spread through infected blood and so is found amongst drug addicts who share needles. It causes inflammation of the liver with jaundice and influenza (flu). Screening tests prevent blood infected with this virus being used for transfusions and there is a vaccine for those at high risk of infection.
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