USMLE

Bunyavirus

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Viruses - RNA Viruses
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Summary

Bunyaviruses are a class of RNA viruses that use 3 segments of circular RNA. Additionally, their RNA is negative-sense, which means that it must first be transcribed into mRNA before being translated into proteins. Bunyaviruses also have a helical capsid, which is further surrounded by a viral envelope. 

Hantaviruses are the important type of bunyavirus to know for test day. Hantavirus is transmitted through rodents. It can cause nonspecific symptoms, such as chills and myalgias, as well as pneumonia and hemorrhagic fever. 

Key Points

  • Bunyaviruses
    • Characteristics
      • RNA viruses
        • replicate in the cytoplasm of cells
        • Single-stranded
        • - sense
        • Circular
        • 3 segments
      • Enveloped
      • Helical capsid
    • Presentation
      • Arboviruses/arthropod-borne (mosquitos, ticks)
        • California Encephalitis
          • Presentation
            • Headache, nausea/vomiting
            • Fever, seizures, FNDs (aphasia)
          • Diagnosis
            • ELISA in CSF
          • Treatment
            • Supportive
        • Rift (Sandfly) Valley Fever
          • Presentation
            • Headache, myalgias, malaise, arthralgias
            • Fever, seizures
          • Diagnosis
            • RT-PCR or ELISA
          • Treatment
            • Supportive
        • Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever
          • Presentation
            • Headache, arthralgia, abdominal pain, vomiting
            • Fever, erythematous oropharynx, palatal petechiae
          • Diagnosis
            • RT-PCR or ELISA
          • Treatment
            • Supportive
      • Hantavirus
        • Transmission
          • Exposure to rodents
        • Presentation
          • Headache, chills, myalgias, dry cough
          • Pneumonia (hantavirus pulmonary syndrome)
            • Cough, shortness of breath, hypoxia
            • CXR reveals bilateral diffuse interstitial edema
          • Hemorrhagic fever
            • Fever
            • Hemorrhage (petechiae in axilla or soft palate), subconjunctival hemorrhage
            • Renal insufficiency
        • Diagnosis
          • RT-PCR or ELISA
        • Treatment
          • Supportive