Enveloped Virus vs. Non Enveloped Virus: What's the Difference?

Key Difference

The virus is an infectious agent that gets produced or replicates within the living body. We often fell confuse between virus and bacteria. The virus is 100 times smaller than a single bacteria cell and is not alive; it only gets production after entering into the human or animal cell. Contrary to that, bacteria are microorganisms that are most commonly found in soil and oceans. Most primarily, the virus is an infectious agent that are an intercellular parasite, they are a nucleic acid, either RNA or DNA, which are simply bounded in a protein coat called capsid. Some of the viruses have an extra covering, which is the membranous envelope covering the protein coat (capsid). Due to the presence of this envelope, viruses can be classified into two types; enveloped virus, and non-enveloped virus. The one with the membranous envelope covering outside the capsid is called enveloped virus, and the one lacking this envelope is called a non-enveloped virus. The non-enveloped virus is more virulent as compared to that of enveloped viruses as it causes the breaking down of the membrane of the cell (lysis), whereas it rarely happens in the case of enveloped virus.

Comparison Chart

Enveloped Virus Non Enveloped Virus
Outer Covering Enveloped virus has the membranous envelope surrounding the capsid. Non-enveloped virus lacks such covering and has capsid as the outermost part.
Virulent The enveloped virus rarely does cell lysis in the host. The non-enveloped virus is more virulent as compared to the enveloped virus as it causes the breaking down of the membrane of the cell (lysis).
Different Conditions Enveloped virus are sensitive to the conditions like drying and heating Non-enveloped virus even remains effective after drying and provides resistance against the conditions like heating and drying.
Transmitted Enveloped virus gets the transmission to the living cells through the secretions, and most notably through blood or organ transplants. Non-enveloped virus gets the transmission to the living cells through the oral matter or fecal.
Example Influenza virus, Hepatitis C and HIV. Feline Calcivirus, Murine Norovirus, and Vesicular Exanthema Virus.
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What is Enveloped Virus?

Enveloped virus has the membranous envelope covering the capsid; the envelope is made up of phospholipids, glycoproteins (Proteins attached with sugar chains) or proteins.  The outer covering called capsid is made up of proteins and is present in all sort of viruses; the envelope surrounds the capsid in the enveloped viruses. These viruses are less virulent as compared to the non-enveloped viruses, and are also sensitive to the conditions like drying and heating. Usually, enveloped virus gets into the living body through the secretions, and most notably through blood or organ transplants. As they are sensitive to several conditions, they didn’t survive or reproduce when they are present in the gastrointestinal tract. When the enveloped virus enters the host, they attack with both the cell mediated and antibody mediated immune response. The process of the virus turning into the enveloped virus is called ‘budding off.’ The envelope or outer covering of the virus comes from the affected cell or the host.

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What is Non-enveloped Virus?

As the name tells non-enveloped virus lacks the membranous layer, it has the capsid as the outermost covering. The outermost covering capsid is made up of the proteins. This type of virus is more virulent (harmful) as it can lead to the cell lysis in which breaking down of the membrane of the cell takes place. They are not vulnerable to several conditions like enveloped viruses; they have strong resistance against the conditions like heat and dry. They can retain their affectivity even after drying and can also survive in the gastrointestinal tract. The non-enveloped virus gets transmitted to the living body through the oral matter or fecal. They utilize their outer covering capsid while binding to the host cell. Seeing their resistance in different condition, they are more stable as compared to the enveloped viruses.

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Enveloped Virus vs. Non Enveloped Virus

  • Enveloped virus has the membranous envelope covering the capsid, whereas non-enveloped virus lacks such covering and has capsid as the outermost part.
  • The non-enveloped virus is more virulent as compared to the enveloped virus as it causes the breaking down of the membrane of the cell (lysis), on the other hand, the enveloped virus rarely does it.
  • Enveloped virus are sensitive to the conditions like drying and heating while non-enveloped virus even remains effective after drying and provides resistance against the conditions like heating and drying.
  • Enveloped virus gets the transmission to the living cells through the secretions, and most notably through blood or organ transplants, whereas non-enveloped virus gets the transmission to the living cells through the oral matter or fecal.

Explanatory Video

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