USMLE

Togavirus

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Viruses - RNA Viruses
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Summary

Togaviruses are a family of RNA viruses that carry positive-sense, linear RNA genomes. They are enveloped viruses.  There are two main togaviruses important for clinical practice: Chikungunya and Rubella.

Chikungunya virus is a togavirus that is transmitted by the aedes mosquito. It presents with non-specific flu-like symptoms and fever, but may also include severe joint pains and a diffuse, macular rash.

Rubella is another togavirus that is responsible for causing a rash.

Key Points

  • Togaviruses
    • Characteristics
      • RNA viruses
        • Replicate in the cytoplasm of cells
        • Single-stranded
        • + sense
        • Linear chromosome
      • Enveloped
      • Icosahedral capsid
    • Viruses of Medical Importance
      • Chikungunya virus
        • Transmission
          • Arthropod-borne: Aedes mosquito
            • Co-infection with Dengue virus can occur
        • Presentation: Chikungunya fever
          • Flu-like illness (fever, nausea/vomiting, myalgias, malaise)
          • Polyarthralgias
          • Diffuse macular rash
      • Rubella virus
      • Eastern and Western Encephalitis