Hep C Mitochondria (image) University of California - San Diego Caption Mitochondria in hepatitis C-infected cells (bottom row) are self-destructing. The self-annihilation process explains the persistance and virulence of the virus in human liver cells. Credit UC San Diego School of Medicine Usage Restrictions Credit as indicated. Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.