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Arenavirus Infection

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  • Arenavirus infection

     Arenaviruses Arenaviruses are single-stranded ribonucleic acid (RNA) viruses that cause chronic infections in rodents and zoonotically acquired disease in humans through rodent excreta, especially urine. The genus Arenavirus includes 22 viral species and 9 additional arenaviruses that have been recently discovered, for which taxonomic status remains pending. LCM virus was the first recognized cause of aseptic meningitis in humans.

  • Arenavirus infection

     Treatments: This virus can be very devastating yet there are very few treatment methods available. The current lack of a licensed vaccine and limited therapeutic options for the Arenavirus make it arguably among the most neglected virus to be dealt with. The only licensed drug for the treatment of human Arenavirus infection is the nucleoside analogue ribavirin. 

  • Arenavirus infection

     Pathogenesis: Little data are available regarding the pathogenesis of fatal LCM infection, but marked neuronal infection is seen in human encephalitis. In the case of arenavirus hemorrhagic fevers, pathogenesis likely results from direct viral infection of endothelial cells resulting in vascular dysfunction and shock. Immunopathologic events seem less likely, although as seen in most viral infections, high levels of circulating endogenous interferon-alpha and pro-inflammatory cytokines are present that may prove detrimental rather than beneficial in arenavirus infections.

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