What Is the Structure of the Human Rhinovirus?


Quick Answer

The human rhinovirus is a very small, single-stranded RNA virus, explains the American Society for Microbiology. The genome consists of one gene found in a capsid made of four proteins.

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Full Answer

Three of the proteins, VP1 through VP3, make up the actual gene, while the much smaller VP4 attaches the capsid to the virus' RNA, notes the American Society for Microbiology. Each of the proteins has 60 copies, giving the virus the look of a 20-sided polygon. There are about 100 different strains of human rhinovirus and two species: HRV-A, with 74 serotypes, and HRV-B, with 25 serotypes. Serotypes belong to one species of virus but have different surface features, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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