Arena Virus

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The family of Arenaviruses is genomically a negative single strand RNA virus. It has an enveloped, icosahedral symmetry with a diameter of approximately 120nm. Its ambisense genome is segmented into two divisions. The derivation of its name is from the Latin word ‘arena’ which translates to sandy. Many sources indicate this is due to its appearance microscopically of a grainy or sandy particle.(2) This appearance is due to ribosomes being present throughout the virus. The entry of the virus into the host cell is via clathrin mediated endocytosis and reproduction is via budding from the host’s cell membrane. The initial Arenavirus was discovered in 1933-1934 by scientists who were studying encephalitis. It was called LCM (lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus).(4) Over the next decades, more …show more content…

In order to maintain safety for all of the healthcare workers diagnosing a patient, biosafety level (BSL) 4 containment should be used per the CDC.(8) The primary way to diagnose this infection is with isolation of the virus followed by antigen and antibody detection via enzyme linked immunoabsorbent assay (ELISA) or indirect fluorescent antibody (IFA) methods. Another method of determining that Arenaviruses are in the sample includes the presence of reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reactions. (RT-PCR) RT-PCR can be used for many different types of scientific applications including, genetic testing, determining the presence of oncogenes, detecting infectious pathogens, and determining genetic fingerprinting. RT-PCR has taken over from Northern blot testing as the standard to determine the presence or absence of a specific type of RNA. It occurs by having the RNA converted into a complementary DNA through a reverse transcriptase. The expression of certain genes can be measured and the type of RNA present determined.(5) Once the presence of Arenavirus is determined, a treatment plan must be

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