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Infectious Disease Online

Pathology of Alphaviruses

Dr Sampurna Roy MD




Alphaviruses are RNA-containing viruses of the family Togaviridae that cause a wide variety of mosquito-transmitted disease.

The genus alphavirus contains nine viruses.

These viruses are of medical and economic importance.

Some of the important alphaviruses are as follows:

- Sindbis virus

- Semliki Forest virus

- Salmonid Alphavirus

- Eastern Equine Encephalitis virus

- Western Equine Encephalitis virus

- Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis virus

- Ross River virus

- O’nyong-nyong virus

- Chikungunya virus

Three important arthropod-borne alphaviruses causing encephalitis are as follows:

- Western equine encephalitis viruses

- Eastern equine encephalitis viruses and

- Venezuelan equine encephalitis viruses

These viruses are the aetiological agents of sometimes severe encephalomyelitis in equines and humans in the New World.

The three lesions have been briefly discussed in separate posts.


Further reading:

The Old World and New World alphaviruses use different virus-specific proteins for induction of the transcriptional shutoff.

Alphaviruses—vectors for the expression of heterologous genes

Alphaviruses induce apoptosis in Bcl2 overexpressing cells: evidence for a caspase mediated, proteolytic inactivation of Bcl2

Genetic diversity and slow rates of evolution in New World alphaviruses

DC-SIGN and L-SIGN can act as attachment receptors for alphaviruses and distinguish between mosquito cell-and mammalian cell-derived viruses

Replication of alphaviruses in mosquito cells




Dr Sampurna Roy  MD

Consultant  Histopathologist (Kolkata - India)



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