Viral infections

Viruses are much smaller than other infectious agents (viruses are not, by definition, microorganisms), and contain either DNA or RNA. Since they are metabolically inert, they must live intracellularly, using the host cell for synthesis of viral proteins and nucleic acid. Viruses have a central nucleic acid core surrounded by a protein coat that is antigenically unique for a particular virus. The protein coat (capsid) imparts a helical or icosahedral structure to the virus. Some viruses also possess an envelope consisting of lipid and protein

Viruses. (a) Schematic diagram of a virus structure (icosahedral). (b) Helical symmetry, showing capsomers arranged along the helical nucleic acid molecule.
Viruses. (a) Schematic diagram of a virus structure  icosahedral). (b) Helical symmetry, showing capsomers arranged along the helical nucleic acid molecule.

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