General Morphology and Capsid Fine Structure of African Swine Fever Virus Particles

Virology. 1984 Jan 15;132(1):160-72. doi: 10.1016/0042-6822(84)90100-4.


The structure of African swine fever virus particles has been examined by electron microscopy. The analysis of virions prepared by negative staining, thin sectioning, and freeze-drying and shadowing showed that the virus particle was composed of several concentric structures with an overall icosahedral shape. The inner region of the virus particles was a nucleoid that was surrounded by a membrane covered by the capsid. The capsid had side-to-side dimensions of 172 to 191 nm and was built up by capsomers arranged in an hexagonal lattice. Computer-filtered electron micrographs of either negatively stained or freeze-dried and shadowed capsids revealed capsomers with a hexagonal outline and a hole in the center. The intercapsomer distance ranged from 7.4 to 8.1 nm. The triangulation number of the capsid was estimated to be 189 to 217, indicative of 1892 to 2172 capsomers. Extracellular African swine fever virus particles had an external membrane that resembled the cytoplasmic unit membrane.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • African Swine Fever Virus / ultrastructure*
  • Animals
  • Capsid / analysis*
  • Cell Line
  • Chlorocebus aethiops
  • Freeze Drying
  • Iridoviridae / ultrastructure*
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Virion / ultrastructure*