West Nile Virus Virion on white (graphic) West Nile Virus Virion on black (graphic)

West Nile Virus Virion or virus particle (on a white or black background). Web images measures 450 pixels across, original images are 3876 pixels across

EXPLANATION OF WEST NILE VIRUS PICTURE: West Nile Virus is a small (approx. 50 nm diameter) enveloped + single stranded RNA virus. It belongs to the family Flaviviridae (L. Flavus: yellow) named after Yellow Fever. The illustration above shows the exterior of the virus. The red worm-like objects covering the surface are the E (Envelope) Proteins. In the mature virion, these exist as dimers with the two molecules in a "Yin-Yang" or "69" position. The dimers are arranged in an ordered fashion over the surface of the virus (2, 3). The E proteins vary from type to type, as does the state of their glycosylation (9, 10, 11). Below the E-Proteins lies a membrane derived from the host cell. The E proteins are anchored into this by membrane spanning regions. M (Membrane) Proteins are also anchored in the membrane. Beneath the membrane lies the icosahedral nucleocapsid (yellowish glow in middle) that contains the genetic material combined with C (Capsid) Protein. Although generally described as spherical, electron micrographs of West Nile Viruses seem to show a clearly faceted virion.

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9. Berthet F-X, Zeller HG, Drouet M-T, Rauzier J, Digoutte J-P, Deubel V, Extensive nucleotide changes and deletions within the envelope glycoprotein gene of Euro-African West Nile viruses. Journal of General Virology 1997:78: 2293 - 2297

10. Chambers TJ, Halevy M, Nestorowicz A, Rice CM, Lustig S, West Nile virus envelope proteins: nucleotide sequence analysis of strains differing in mouse neuroinvasiveness. Journal of General Virology 1998:79: 2375 - 2380

11. Scherret JH, Poidinger M, Mackenzie JS, Broom AK, Deubel V, Lipkin WI, Briese T, Gould EA, Hall RA, The Relationship between West Nile and Kunjin Viruses. Emerging Infectious Diseases July-August 2001 Vol. 7 No. 4

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