Notes on Genus: Ebolavirus

enveloped filaments
enveloped filaments

Type member: Zaire ebolavirus


General Description

The genus Ebolavirus is one of two genera in the family Filoviridae. It is named after the river Ebola in Zaire where the disease was first recognised. The virions are larger than those of the genus Marburgvirus and their are minor differences in genome organisation.


Virions pleomorphic but usually filamentous or bacilliform, enveloped, about 80 nm in diameter and 970nm long (although they may appear longer because of aggregation), with small (10 nm) projections.


Monopartite single-stranded negative sense RNA of about 19 kb. There is no genome-linked protein (VPg) at the 5'-terminus nor a 3'-polyA tail.

Genus Genomic Organization

There are 7 major ORFs with the RNA polymerase at the 5'-end of the genome and the capsid nucleoprotein at the 3'-end.

Type Member Genomic Organization

There are 7 major ORFs translated from positive sense template RNAs. They are listed here in their order on the template strand - i.e. from 3' to 5' with respect to the virion strand:
1    NP83 kDa Coat protein (nucleocapsid)
2VP35 37 kDa Phosphoprotein
3VP4035 kDa Matrix protein
4GP 74 kDa Glycoprotein precursor, consisting of two overlapping ORFs that are fused by transcriptional editing
5VP3032 kDa Virion protein
6VP2428 kDa Virion protein
7L      253 kDa Polymerase