Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) is in the Hepadnavirus family.
This virus has an envelope, which is an outer membrane that covers the protein capsid and helps viral entry of host cells.
HBV virion contains a partially double-stranded circular genome.
The genome is partially double-stranded DNA that forms a covalently closed circle with 5' end of the full length minus strand which is linked to the viral DNA polymerase.
A reverse transcriptase is also known as RNA-dependent DNA polymerase, which transcribes single stranded RNA into single stranded DNA. It also has DNA-dependent DNA polymerase activity which synthesizes a second strand of complementary DNA to the reverse-transcribed singled stranded DNA.
In the United States, IV drug abuse with sharing of contaminated needles and syringes is one of the chief modes of HBV transmission.
In the United States, unprotected heterosexual or homosexual intercourse is one of the chief modes of HBV transmission.
In areas with high prevalence of HBV, perinatal transmission with transmission of the pathogen from mother to baby accounts for 90% of HBV cases.
HBV has a prolonged incubation period that can last 4-26 weeks with an average of 3 months. This incubation period is much longer than the average of 3 week incubation period observed in HAV.
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