The negative-sense, single-stranded RNA genome of a filovirus infection is around 19 kilobases in length, and it is contained inside a filamentous, enveloped particle. The beginning and end of each gene’s transcription are determined by rigidly conserved signals. The spikes on a virus are made from a single glycoprotein. The viral polymerase and four other structural proteins are all housed in the nucleocapsid along with the RNA.
Filoviruses are transcribed and replicated by the same polymerase in infected cells. Negative-sense RNA genome translation produces seven structural proteins. Ebola viruses utilize RNA editing and/or frameshifting (-1) to create a single glycosylated nonstructural protein. A complete, positive-sense antigenome is used as a blueprint to generate offspring genomes that are negative-sense. The plasma membrane is the site of particle maturation.