CDC: Arenaviruses   [open html - 34KB]

This webpage is maintained by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The webpage provides information and resources on Arenaviruses. Sections of the webpage include: "What are the Arenaviridae"; "When were the members of this virus family recognized"; "What viruses are included in the virus family"; "What kinds of animal hosts do these viruses have?"; and "How are arenaviruses spread?". "Tularemia is a potentially serious illness that occurs naturally in the United States. It is caused by the bacterium Francisella tularensis found in animals (especially rodents, rabbits, and hares)."The Arenaviridae are a family of viruses whose members 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. 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 [Ribonucleic acid] 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."

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: http://www.cdc.gov/
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