What Is a Non-Enveloped Virus?

The Wiley Online Library explains that non-enveloped viruses utilize capsid proteins to mediate binding to host cells, while enveloped viruses use viral proteins for this function. Enveloped viruses are surrounded by an outer lipid membrane, while non-enveloped viruses lack this membrane.

A non-enveloped virus is generally more stable than an enveloped virus and can survive in its environment much longer. An example of a non-enveloped virus is rotavirus, which kills 440,000 children each year, according to the National Institute of Health. Rotavirus uses the spike protein VP4 as a catalyst for entering host cells. The lipid bilayer of enveloped viruses is sensitive to heat, detergents and desiccation, which means they are easier to sterilize than non-enveloped viruses.