Hepatitis C virus

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A blood-borne retrovirus belonging to genus Hepacivirus causing hepatitis C


Hepatitis C virus belongs to the genus Hepacivirus. The genus is characterized by having an icosahedral structure with a diameter of around 50nm. Members of this genus enter the host cell by means of clathrin-mediated endocytosis. Within the host cell, the virus replicates through a positive stranded RNA virus replication model. The method of transcription is through positive stranded RNA virus transcription. The virus may be transmitted from one human host to another by sexual, blood, and contact. The genus includes the hepatcivirus C or the hepatitis C virus.

The hepatitis C virus is an RNA virus. It contains a positive sense, single stranded RNA as its genetic material at its core. Its genome is 9,600 nucleotide bases long. The virus is protected with am icosahedral shell of protein and additional lipid envelope. E1 and E2 glycoproteins are embedded in the lipid envelope.

The hepatitis C virus is the causative agent of the disease, hepatitis C. It is also described to be associated with some cancers in humans, e.g. hepatocellular carcinoma and lymphomas.

Abbreviation / Acronym:

  • HCV
  • hep C virus

Scientific classification:

  • Family: Flaviviridae
  • Genus: Hepacivirus

See also: