nu·​cle·​o·​cap·​sid ˌnü-klē-ō-ˈkap-səd How to pronounce nucleocapsid (audio)
: the nucleic acid and surrounding protein coat in a virus

Examples of nucleocapsid in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web For the past few years, researchers have been homing in on a specific protein on the Ebola virus’ outer structure, called a nucleocapsid. Anna Funk, Discover Magazine, 18 Sep. 2019 There are, in fact, four different proteins that form the overall structure of the virus particle: spike, envelope (E), membrane (M) and nucleocapsid (N). Sarah L. Caddy, Discover Magazine, 4 Jan. 2021 As with the nucleocapsid-only vaccine, the spike-only vaccine was not that effective in clearing the virus from the nose and throat, with only a five-fold decrease in viral mRNA copies four days after initial infection. William A. Haseltine, Forbes, 3 Oct. 2022 Since antigen tests generally target a part of the virus called the nucleocapsid, which saw fewer mutations in Omicron, test manufacturers and health authorities abroad say antigen tests should still work to detect many cases caused by the variant. Alexander Tin, CBS News, 7 Jan. 2022 Soon-Shiong said that, if vaccines did not target the viral nucleocapsid, manufacturers would be playing an endless game of catch-up. The New Yorker, 25 Oct. 2021 In addition to forming the helical nucleocapsid, N is reported to be required for packaging the viral into infectious particles. William A. Haseltine, Forbes, 16 Sep. 2021 Two tests on the sample found the presence of the virus’s spike protein and nucleocapsid, or protein shell. Eric Sylvers, WSJ, 12 July 2021 Early in the pandemic, many commercial tests were designed to look for antibodies to a coronavirus protein called the nucleocapsid, or just N, because after infection, those antibodies were plentiful in the blood. New York Times, 20 June 2021 See More

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Word History

First Known Use

1962, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of nucleocapsid was in 1962

Dictionary Entries Near nucleocapsid

Cite this Entry

“Nucleocapsid.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Dec. 2023.

Medical Definition


nu·​cleo·​cap·​sid ˌn(y)ü-klē-ō-ˈkap-səd How to pronounce nucleocapsid (audio)
: the nucleic acid and surrounding protein coat of a virus

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