The key difference between HBV and HCV is that hepatitis B virus (HBV) is a DNA virus that causes hepatitis B, while hepatitis C virus (HCV) is an RNA virus that causes hepatitis C.
Hepatitis is a disease caused by the inflammation of the liver. The liver is a vital organ in the human body. It processes nutrients, fights against infections, and filters blood. When the liver is damaged, it affects these functions. Heavy alcohol use, toxins, certain medications, some medical conditions, and viruses are responsible for hepatitis. Viral hepatitis is due to viruses such as hepatitis A, B, C, etc. HBV and HCV are two viruses that cause viral hepatitis in humans.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is HBV
3. What is HCV
4. Similarities – HBV and HCV
5. HBV vs HCV in Tabular Form
6. Summary – HBV vs HCV
What is HBV?
HBV or hepatitis B virus is a partially double-stranded DNA virus transmitted through blood and body fluids. It causes a potentially life-threatening condition called Hepatitis B. This virus is a species of the genus Orthohepadnavirus and a member of the Hepadnaviridae family of viruses. The viral particle (virion) consists of an outer lipid envelope and an icosahedral nucleocapsid core. The nucleocapsid is composed of proteins. The nucleocapsid encloses the viral DNA and a DNA polymerase. This DNA polymerase has reverse transcriptase activity similar to retroviruses. The outer envelope has several embedded proteins that are involved in viral binding and entry.
HBV is one of the smallest enveloped animal viruses with a virion diameter of 42 nm. Furthermore, it has several antigens that help in the infection, such as HBsAg, HBcAg, HBeAg, and HBx. Though a vaccine is available to prevent hepatitis B, HBV infection remains a global health problem. Hepatitis B infection can be acute or chronic. In addition to hepatitis, this virus also can cause cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. It is also suggested that HBV infection may also increase the risk of pancreatic cancer. The genome of the hepatitis B virus (HBV) is a circular DNA molecule approximately 3200 bp in length.
What is HCV?
HCV or hepatitis C virus is a positive-sense single-stranded RNA virus transmitted only through blood. It belongs to the genus Hepacvirus and the family Flaviridae. In addition to hepatitis C, this virus can also cause some cancers such as liver cancer and lymphomas in humans.
HCV is a small, enveloped virus. The size of the virus particle is around 55-65 nm. HCV particle consists of an outer lipid membrane envelop. Two viral envelop glycoproteins, E1 and E2, are embedded in the lipid envelope. E1 and E2 facilitate viral attachment and entry into the cell. This virus has an icosahedral core, which is around 33 to 40 nm in diameter, and it surrounds the viral RNA genome. The genome size of the virus is around 9600 bp in length. Furthermore, unlike hepatitis A and hepatitis B, there is no vaccine to prevent hepatitis C infection. Hepatitis C treatments include direct antiviral tablets (DAA).
What are the Similarities Between HBV and HCV?
- HBV and HCV are two viruses that cause viral hepatitis.
- They are small animal viruses.
- Both are enveloped viruses.
- Both can cause other diseases in addition to hepatitis.
- These viruses can cause similar symptoms in acute and chronic infection stages.
What is the Difference Between HBV and HCV?
HBV is a DNA virus that causes hepatitis B, while HCV is an RNA virus that causes hepatitis C. So, this is the key difference between HBV and HCV. Furthermore, HBV is transmitted through blood and body fluids, while HCV is transmitted only through blood.
The following infographic lists the differences between HBV and HCV in tabular form for side by side comparison.
Summary – HBV vs HCV
Hepatitis is an inflammatory condition of the liver. Alcohol consumption, some medical conditions, certain medications can cause this condition. However, viral hepatitis is the common cause of hepatitis. Viral hepatitis is due to viruses such as hepatitis A, B, C, etc. HBV is the causative agent of hepatitis B, and it is a DNA virus. HCV is the causative agent of hepatitis C, and it is an RNA virus. Thus, this is the key difference between HBV and HCV.