Notes on Family: Hepadnaviridae

enveloped spheres or pleomorphic
enveloped spheres or pleomorphic


General Description

This family consists of animal viruses with circular, partly double stranded, DNA genomes and which use reverse transcription as an essential step in their replication. They are particularly found in liver tissue, hence the name (Greek hepar = liver).


Virions enveloped, spherical or pleomorphic, 40-48 nm in diameter.


Monopartite, circular DNA 3.0-3.3 kb long. The genome is partially double-stranded with a full-length negative sense strand and a positive strand of variable length. The circular configuration is achieved by base-pairing between the overlapping 5'-ends of the two strands.

Genera in the Family