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West Nile Virus

According to an electron microscope image,
West Nile is a bumpy virus about
two millionths of an inch wide.

West Nile ready for its close-up:
Scientists obtain first detailed images of the virus.
Tuesday, December 2, 2003 Posted: 2:34 PM EST


Adapted from Universtat Wien

West Nile Viruses are spherical particles that are 50 nm in diameter and consist of mainly a membrane envelope and a dense core. The virus contains a positive, single-stranded RNA genome that is packaged within the core protein C. The viral envelope protein is composed of envelope E and membrane M proteins that are embedded in a lipid bilayer. The E protein has important biological roles, which include virion assembly, cell receptor recognition, fusion with cell endosomal membranes, agglutination of red blood cells, and induction of B and T cell responses that are associated with protective immunity.