Special Issue "Bunyavirus"

A special issue of Pathogens (ISSN 2076-0817).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 20 August 2021.

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Stefanie Christine Becker
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute for Parasitology and Research Center for Emerging Infections and Zoonoses University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover
Interests: arboviruses; vector and host immunity; arbovirus evolution; arbovirus genetics

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The order of Bunyavirales is a fast growing order of negative stranded-segmented RNA viruses with an enormous host range, including nearly all kinds of vertebrates, as well as invertebrate animals and plants. Most Bunyaviruses are transmitted by either rodents or arthropods, to other vertebrate animals. Because of this, it is generally agreed to separate Bunyaviruses into arthropod-borne and rodent-borne. Arthropod-borne Bunyaviruses include, for example, the mosquito-transmitted Orthobunyaviruses, the sandfly-transmitted Phleboviruses, or the tick-transmitted Nairoviruses. On the other side, Hantaviruses represent the rodent-transmitted Bunyaviruses. Except for Hantaviruses, most Bunyaviruses have amplification cycles in invertebrate and vertebrate hosts, and are associated with disease in humans or livestock. Symptoms might range from mild flu-like disease, to severe symptoms including renal failure, encephalitis, and hemorrhagic fevers [1].

In vertebrates, the interferon system plays a crucial role controlling Bunyavirus infections, whereas in arthropod’s, si- and pi-RNA pathways seem to be important. However, detailed analyses of innate and adaptive immune pathways in both vertebrate and invertebrate hosts are still scare. In addition, Bunyaviruses are able to extend their genetic diversity by the re-assortment of genome segments during a mixed infection [2]. The clinical relevance of novel Orthobunyaviruses derived by re-assortment was demonstrated by a large outbreak of hemorrhagic fever in East Africa in late 1997 and early 1998, which was related to the Ngari virus (NRIV), a novel re-assortment between the Batai and Bunyamwera Orthobunyavirus [3]. In contrast to the parental viruses, which are associated with mild febrile illness in humans and animals, NRIV was found to be associated with severe symptoms, such as hemorrhagic fever in humans. Besides changes in the pathology, the newly formed viruses might extend their vector- or host-range.

In this exciting context, Pathogens will launch a Special Issue devoted to Bunyaviruses. In this Special Issue, we aim to target the diversity of Bunyaviruses in nature, their interaction with vectors and hosts, and genetic variability of Bunyaviruses, including re-assortment. Both original research and review articles are welcome.

Potential topics include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Transmission barriers for vector-borne Bunyavirus transmission
  • Pathogenic mechanisms in vectors and hosts
  • Virus reassortment and genetic diversity
  • Discovery of novel Bunyaviruses


[1] Medical Microbiology. 4th edition. Chapter 56Bunyaviruses. Robert E. Shope. Galveston (TX): University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston; 1996.

[2] Yanase, T., et al., Genetic characterization of Batai virus indicates a genomic reassortment between orthobunyaviruses in nature. Arch Virol, 2006. 151(11): p. 2253-60.

[3] Bowen, M.D., et al., A reassortant bunyavirus isolated from acute hemorrhagic fever cases in Kenya and Somalia. Virology, 2001. 291(2): p. 185-90.

Prof. Dr. Stefanie Christine Becker
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessArticle
Variation Profile of the Orthotospovirus Genome
Pathogens 2020, 9(7), 521; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9070521 - 29 Jun 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1030
Orthotospoviruses are plant-infecting members of the family Tospoviridae (order Bunyavirales), have a broad host range and are vectored by polyphagous thrips in a circulative-propagative manner. Because diverse hosts and vectors impose heterogeneous selection constraints on viral genomes, the evolutionary arms races between [...] Read more.
Orthotospoviruses are plant-infecting members of the family Tospoviridae (order Bunyavirales), have a broad host range and are vectored by polyphagous thrips in a circulative-propagative manner. Because diverse hosts and vectors impose heterogeneous selection constraints on viral genomes, the evolutionary arms races between hosts and their pathogens might be manifested as selection for rapid changes in key genes. These observations suggest that orthotospoviruses contain key genetic components that rapidly mutate to mediate host adaptation and vector transmission. Using complete genome sequences, we profiled genomic variation in orthotospoviruses. Results show that the three genomic segments contain hypervariable areas at homologous locations across species. Remarkably, the highest nucleotide variation mapped to the intergenic region of RNA segments S and M, which fold into a hairpin. Secondary structure analyses showed that the hairpin is a dynamic structure with multiple functional shapes formed by stems and loops, contains sites under positive selection and covariable sites. Accumulation and tolerance of mutations in the intergenic region is a general feature of orthotospoviruses and might mediate adaptation to host plants and insect vectors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bunyavirus)
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