Interplay between the Virus and Host in Rift Valley Fever Pathogenesis

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24 Scopus citations


Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV) belongs to the genus Phlebovirus, family Bunyaviridae, and carries single-stranded tripartite RNA segments. The virus is transmitted by mosquitoes and has caused large outbreaks among ruminants and humans in sub-Saharan African and Middle East countries. The disease is characterized by a sudden onset of fever, headache, muscle pain, joint pain, photophobia, and weakness. In most cases, patients recover from the disease after a period of weeks, but some also develop retinal or macular changes, which result in vision impairment that lasts for an undefined period of time, and severe disease, characterized by hemorrhagic fever or encephalitis. The virus also causes febrile illness resulting in a high rate of spontaneous abortions in ruminants. The handling of wild-type RVFV requires high-containment facilities, including biosafety level 4 or enhanced biosafety level 3 laboratories. Nonetheless, studies clarifying the mechanisms of the RVFV-induced diseases and preventing them are areas of active research throughout the world. By primarily referring to recent studies using several animal model systems, protein expression systems, and specific mutant viruses, this review describes the current knowledge about the mechanisms of pathogenesis of RVF and biological functions of various viral proteins that affect RVFV pathogenicity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)450-458
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Innate Immunity
StatePublished - Aug 25 2015


  • Innate immune responses
  • Rift Valley fever
  • Viral pathogenicity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy


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