Dengue fever virus
Dengue fever virus (or DENV) causes the disease of the same name.
Characteristics of the dengue fever virus
The dengue fever virus is a Flavivirusbelonging to the Flaviviridae family (similar to the yellow fever virus and West Nile virus). Its four serotypes (DENV-1, DENV-2, DENV-3 and DENV-4) are very similar: the viral particle is spherical and enveloped by a membrane where the viral proteins are anchored, and has a diameter of 65 to 70 nanometres. The genome is composed of a 10,000 base linear RNA which codes for a polyprotein. After being cleaved by viral or cellular proteases, more than ten proteins are released and can act in the viral cycle.
Dengue fever virus and disease in humans
The dengue fever virus is transmitted to humans by a bite from an infected mosquito belonging to the Aedesgenus, when it injects its anticoagulant saliva.
The virus has specific tropism for three human organs: the immune system, the liver, and the endothelial cells of the blood vessels.
The dengue fever virus is spherical (it is seen in clumps here). © DR