In common with other members of the genus Flavivirus, the spherical (round) to hexagonal (6-sided) virions (viral particles) of Nakiwogo are approximately 40 nanometres in diameter and can only be seen using a very powerful microscope.
Nakiwogo virus grows in mosquito cells. In the case of the above picture, these virus particles are from a laboratory experiment carried out to test the virus’ ability to grow in a sheet of mosquito cells that originally came from mosquitoes of the species Aedes albopictus.
Museum scientists have determined the sequence of the entire genome of Nakiwogo virus, which has nearly 11,000 pieces of genetic information (or “base pairs”).
Comparison with other flaviviruses show that Nakiwogo virus is related to Cell Fusing Agent virus, another flavivirus that seems to infect mosquitoes alone and that can cause the cells to blow up and burst in some cases.