Structure of a virus

Structure of a virus:

Virus is composed of two main parts:

1. Capsid (the protein coat)
2. Nucleic acid.

The capsid is the outer protein coat. This is protective in function. It is frequently composed of numerous identical subunits termed as capsomeres. Some of the viruses have an outer covering termed as envelope example: HIV. They are termed as enveloped viruses. The others are termed as naked viruses or non- enveloped viruses. The capsid is in close contact with nucleic acid and therefore termed as nucleocapsid. The nucleic acid builds the central core. Unlike any living cell, a virus has either RNA or DNA, however never both. The infective nature of virus is attributed to the nucleic acid whereas host specificity is attributed into the protein coat.

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Figure: Fundamental components of a virus


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