Related topics: virus ยท mosquitoes

By 2080, Washington D.C. climate may feel like Deep South

In a single generation, climate patterns will shift hundreds of kilometres in the United States, according to a study tracking the northward drift of hotter climes brought on by climate change and global warming.

Researchers shine new light on disease-spreading mosquitoes

When the West Nile virus (WNV) was initially isolated in two patients at a Queens, N.Y., hospital in the summer of 1999, it would have been hard to anticipate how quickly one common species of house mosquito, Culex pipiens, ...

Discovery could neutralize West Nile virus

Researchers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and colleagues have isolated a human monoclonal antibody that can "neutralize" the West Nile virus and potentially prevent a leading cause of viral encephalitis (brain inflammation) ...

Structure of spherical viruses aren't as perfect as we thought

Determining the structure of a virus is an important step in understanding and treating viral disease. For decades, structural biologists have been using cryo-electron microscopy to create increasingly accurate pictures of ...

Imaging engineers improve accuracy of satellite images

Scientists use satellite images to monitor the conditions of forests, crops and the environment, but their research relies on those images accurately measuring the light being reflected from Earth.

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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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