west nile virus - Microbiology 4/17/08 West Nile Virus The...

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Microbiology 4/17/08 West Nile Virus The West Nile virus is a flavivirus of birds, horses and humans transmitted through the mosquito via the bird reservoir. The West Nile Virus was first recorded in Uganda, Africa in 1937 along the West Nile River. Now it has traveled to the United States, having been recently introduced in 1999 in New York City. It has rather swiftly become a fairly prevalent problem nationwide. The natural host species of this virus is the bird, however with the help of the Culex theileri mosquito it is easily passed to the other few select species. As a notifiable disease this virus must be reported if found. As a flavivirus, the West Nile virus is a single stranded positive sense RNA virus. This means they are equipped with both mRNA as well as proteins giving them the ability to replicate faster and more efficiently. They acquire their capsid when leaving the host cell after replication, using the host’s own cell membrane as a sort of protective envelope. Once the virus has been packaged it is released into the blood stream in hopes it will be transmitted by the mosquito. The virus is most commonly found in the mosquitoes along migratory birds flight patterns, though has now been reported in varying regions as it spreads world wide. The virus
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west nile virus - Microbiology 4/17/08 West Nile Virus The...

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