VIRUS ANIMATIONS: WNV WEST NILE VIRUS
VIRUS: West Nile Virus Particles float above an organic background.
West Nile Virus (WNV) is a small (roughly 50 nm diameter) enveloped +single-stranded RNA virus. It belongs to the family Flaviviridae (L. Flavus: yellow) named after Yellow Fever. It's a significant mosquito-borne virus, related to Dengue, ZIKA, and Japanese Encephalitis Virus. The natural host is birds, and these act as reservoirs of infection. The club-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. E proteins vary from type to type, as does the state of their glycosylation. Beneath the E-Proteins is a membrane derived from the host cell. The E proteins are anchored into the membrane by membrane-spanning regions. M (Membrane) Proteins are also anchored in the membrane. Beneath the membrane is the icosahedral nucleocapsid containing the genome. Electron micrographs of West Nile Viruses show a clearly faceted virion (although the virion is commonly called spherical).