Arenavirus

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Arenavirus
Lassa virus virions
Lassa virus virions
Virus classification
Group: Group V ((-)ssRNA)
Family: Arenaviridae
Genus: Arenavirus

Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]

Overview

The Arenaviridae are a family of viruses whose members are generally associated with rodent-transmitted diseases in humans. Each virus usually is associated with a particular rodent host species in which it is maintained. Arenavirus infections are relatively common in humans in some areas of the world and can cause severe illnesses.

Arenaviridae

  • Lassa virus belongs to Arenaviridae [1].
  • The Arenaviridae are a family of viruses whose members are generally associated with rodent-transmitted diseases in humans. Each virus usually is associated with a particular rodent host species in which it is maintained. Arenavirus infections are relatively common in humans in some areas of the world and can cause severe illnesses.
  • The virus particles are spherical and have an average diameter of 110-130 nanometers. All are enveloped in a lipid (fat) membrane. Viewed in cross-section, they show grainy particles that are ribosomes acquired from their host cells. It is this characteristic that gave them their name, derived from the Latin "arena", which means "sandy". Their genome, or genetic material, is composed of RNA only, and while their replication strategy is not completely understood, we know that new viral particles, called virions, are created by budding from the surface of their hosts' cells.

History of Arenaviridae

  • The first Arenavirus, Lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV), was isolated in 1933 during a study of an epidemic of St. Louis encephalitis. Although not the cause of the outbreak, LCMV was found to be a cause of aseptic (nonbacterial) meningitis. By the 1960s, several similar viruses had been discovered and they were classified into the new family Arenaviridae. Since Tacaribe virus was found in 1956, new Arenavirus have been discovered on the average of every one to three years. A number of Arenavirus have been isolated in rodents only, but few cause hemorrhagic disease. Junin virus, isolated in 1958, was the first of these to be recognized. This virus causes Argentine hemorrhagic fever in a limited agrigultural area of the pampas in Argentina. Several years later, in 1963, in the remote savannas of the Beni province of Bolivia, Machupo virus was isolated. The next member of the virus family to be associated with an outbreak of human illness was Lassa virus in Nigeria in 1969. The most recent additions to these human pathogenic viruses were Guanarito detected in Venezuela in 1989, Sabia in Brazil in 1993, Chapare in Bolivia in 2004, and Lujo in South Africa in 2008.

Arenavirus is a genus of virus. The type species is Lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV); it also includes the species responsible for Lassa fever.

Arena comes from the Latin root meaning sand.

Arenaviruses can be divided into two serogroups, which differ genetically and by geographical distribution:

Some arenaviruses are zoonotic pathogens and are generally associated with rodent-transmitted disease in humans. Each virus usually is associated with a particular rodent host species in which it is maintained. The virus particles are spherical and have an average diameter of 110-130 nanometers. All are enveloped in a lipid membrane. Viewed in cross-section, they show grainy particles that are ribosomes acquired from their host cells. It is this characteristic that gave them their name, derived from the Latin "arena," which means "sandy." Their genome, or genetic material, is composed of RNA only, and while their replication strategy is not completely understood, we know that new viral particles, called virions, are created by budding from the surface of their hosts’ cells.

Arenavirus diseases and vectors
Virus Disease Vector Distribution
Lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus Lymphocytic choriomeningitis House mouse Worldwide
Lassa virus Lassa fever Rat (Mastomys natalensis) West Africa
Junin virus Argentine hemorrhagic fever Corn mouse (Calomys musculinus) Argentina
Machupo virus Bolivian hemorrhagic fever Vesper mouse (Calomys callosus) Bolivia
Guanarito virus Venezuelan hemorrhagic fever Cane mouse (Zygodontomys brevicauda) Venezuela
Sabiá virus Brazilian hemorrhagic fever Unknown Brazil
Tacaribe virus Bat (Artibeus) Trinidad
Flexal virus Influenza-like illness Rice rat (Oryzomys) Brazil
Whitewater Arroyo virus Hemorrhagic fever Woodrat (Neotoma) Southwestern USA

External links

de:Arenaviridae nl:Arenavirussen

  1. "The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention".

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