03 August 2011
Vol 3, Issue 94

About The Cover

Cover image expansion

ONLINE COVER Silent But Deadly. Hepatitis C virus (HCV) consists of an RNA core (red) encased by an icosahedral protein shell (gold) further contained within a lipid envelope (red). Two viral entry glycoproteins, E1 and E2, are embedded in the lipid envelope—shown here as spikes. Hepatitis C is a chronic disease that causes liver scarring but is frequently asymptomatic until patients develop cirrhosis or liver cancer. Garrone et al. construct virus-like particles (VLPs) pseudotyped with the E1 and E2 HCV entry proteins and show that these VLPs can induce antibodies that neutralize multiple strains of HCV in macaques. These broadly neutralizing antibodies are the mainstay of successful vaccines and if translated successfully to the clinic could prevent infection with this devastating virus. [CREDIT: Science Photo Library/Alamy]