E. G. Westaway, M. A. Brinton, S. Ya Gaidamovich, M. C. Horzinek, A. Igarashi, L. Kääriäinen, D. K. Lvov, J. S. Porterfield, P. K. Russell, D. W. Trent

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

124 Scopus citations


The family Togaviridae comprises four genera: Alphavirus (with 26 species), Rubivirus (one species), Pestivirus (three species), and Arterivirus (one species). The main characteristics of the member viruses are: (i) the virus particles are spherical, 50-70 nm in diameter, including an envelope with surface projections that incorporate two or three polypeptides, usually glycosylated; (ii) the nucleocapsid comprises a core protein and a single strand of positive-sense RNA, molecular weight about 4 × 106; where characterized, the RNA has an m7G 'cap' at the 5' end and is polyadenylated at the 3' end; (iii) maturation occurs by budding of spherical nucleocapsids 30-35 nm in diameter, with proven or presumed icosahedral symmetry, through cytoplasmic membranes. Where characterized, translation of structural proteins occurs on subgenomic messenger RNA(s); these appear to represent the 3' end of the genome. Nearly all alphavirus species are transmitted by mosquitoes. Transmission also occurs transovarially (Alphavirus) or transplacentally (Rubivirus and Pestivirus) Members of a genus are serologically related, but are not related to members of other genera.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)125-139
Number of pages15
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1985
Externally publishedYes


  • Alphavirus
  • Arterivirus
  • Pestivirus
  • Rubivirus
  • Togavirus
  • Viral taxonomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases


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