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Virus Structure

  1. Robert McKenna,
  2. Lee Faulkner

Published Online: 19 APR 2001

DOI: 10.1038/npg.els.0000439



How to Cite

McKenna, R. and Faulkner, L. 2001. Virus Structure. eLS. .

Author Information

  1. University of Florida, Florida, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 19 APR 2001

This is not the most recent version of the article. View current version (16 FEB 2015)


Viruses are infectious obligate intracellular parasites consisting of RNA or DNA in a protective coat. They cannot increase in size but can replicate in susceptible host cells, which may or may not be destroyed by viral replication and release.


  • capsid;
  • icosahedral symmetry;
  • helical symmetry;
  • tailed phage;
  • enveloped virus