Related topics: virus · mosquitoes

Light pollution drives increased risk of West Nile virus

Florida has experienced a relatively mild winter, which typically translates to more mosquitoes in the summer and more birds on which they can feast. If history repeats itself, it's likely there will be an uptick in West ...

Tropical species are moving northward as winters warm

Notwithstanding last month's cold snap in Texas and Louisiana, climate change is leading to warmer winter weather throughout the southern U.S., creating a golden opportunity for many tropical plants and animals to move north, ...

Nutrient-rich water is heaven for disease-spreading mosquitoes

When mosquito eggs hatch in nutrient-rich water, the mosquitoes are larger and they can also fly further. That is the first conclusion of a study from by the Netherlands Center for One Health (NCOH) by PhD-student Sam Boerlijst.

Study tallies huge hidden health costs from climate change

Climate change is taking a huge toll on Americans' health, so much so that it could constitute a public health crisis, a new study by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the University of California, San Francisco ...

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West Nile virus

West Nile virus (or WNV) is a virus of the family Flaviviridae. Part of the Japanese encephalitis (JE) antigenic complex of viruses, it is found in both tropical and temperate regions. It mainly infects birds, but is known to infect humans, horses, dogs, cats, bats, chipmunks, skunks, squirrels, and domestic rabbits. The main route of human infection is through the bite of an infected mosquito.

Image reconstructions and cryoelectron microscopy reveal a 45–50 nm virion covered with a relatively smooth protein surface. This structure is similar to the dengue fever virus; both belong to the genus Flavivirus within the family Flaviviridae. The genetic material of WNV is a positive-sense, single strand of RNA, which is between 11,000 and 12,000 nucleotides long; these genes encode seven non-structural proteins and three structural proteins. The RNA strand is held within a nucleocapsid formed from 12 kDa protein blocks; the capsid is contained within a host-derived membrane altered by two viral glycoproteins.

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