Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/10/2012
Publication Date: 7/1/2013
Citation: Mcvey, D.S., Drolet, B.S., Wilson, W.C. 2013. Bunyaviridae. Book Chapter. Veterinary Microbiology, 3rd Edition:491-500. ISBN:978-0-470-95949-7
Technical Abstract: Bunyaviruses are enveloped, pleomorphic viruses that are 80–120 nm in diameter with surface projections (spikes) emanating from the envelope surface of mature virions. The virions consist of four structural proteins, including two external glycoproteins in the envelope, a nucleocapsid protein that encapsidates the genome, and a transcriptase protein (L). The envelope glycoproteins are responsible for neutralization and hemagglutination. A variety of nonstructural proteins also are encoded by the viral genome. The nucleic acid is helical and included in three distinct segments (large [L], medium [M], and small [S]), each comprised of single-stranded, negative-sense RNA. There is a very large number of bunyaviruses. The organization and structure of the genomes determine the genera of these viruses. In addition, serological methods are used to provide further classification. However, many epitopes on envelope and capsid proteins are highly conserved. This creates unique challenges for taxonomic efforts. There is considerable genetic diversity and serologically cross-reactivity among viruses within the various genera of the Bunyaviridae. Genetic reassortment often may occur when cell cultures or insects are simultaneously infected with multiple, but closely related, bunyaviruses. Within established geographic aid ranges, the bunyaviruses undergo genetic drift and selection, especially in arthropod hosts. Nevertheless it is unusual for new, serologically distinct strains to emerge. The bunyaviruses are generally susceptible to drying, heat, acids, bleaches, detergents and most common disinfectants.