Rift Valley fever is considered to be one of the most important viral zoonoses in Africa. In 2000, the Rift valley fever virus spread to the Arabian Peninsula and caused two simultaneous outbreaks in Yemen and Saudi Arabia. It is transmitted to ruminants and to humans by mosquitoes. The viral agent is an arbovirus, which belongs to the Phlebovirus genus in the Bunyaviridae family. This family of viruses comprises more than 300 members grouped into five genera: Orthobunyavirus, Phlebovirus, Hantavirus, Nairovirus, and Tospovirus. Several members of the Bunyaviridae family are responsible for fatal hemorrhagic fevers: Rift Valley fever virus (Phlebovirus), Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever virus (Nairovirus), Hantaan, Sin Nombre and related viruses (Hantavirus), and recently Garissa, now identified as Ngari virus (Orthobunyavirus). Here are reviewed recent advances in Rift Valley fever virus, its epidemiology, molecular biology and focus on recent data on the interactions between viral and cellular proteins, which help to understand the molecular mechanisms utilized by the virus to circumvent the host cellular response.
Phlebovirus, nuclear localization signal (NLS), non-structural protein, cis-acting elements, veterinary vaccine, ELISA
University of TexasMedical Branch, Department of Pathology, Center for Biodefense andEmerging Infectious Diseases, 301 University Boulevard, Galveston, TX77555-0609, USA.