STAFORD, ISM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY STAFORD, ISM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Hepatitis C virus. Computer artwork of a hepatitis C virus particle (virion). The virus consists of a core of RNA (ribonucleic acid, cream) enclosed in a capsid, or protein coat (blue spheres). Surrounding the capsid is a glycoprotein envelope (gold and blue). Inserted in the envelope are surface proteins (gold 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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