Viruses with Single-Stranded, Segmented, Negative-Sense RNA Genomes

  • Susanne ModrowEmail author
  • Dietrich Falke
  • Uwe Truyen
  • Hermann Schätzl
Reference work entry


There are three virus families containing a negative-sense RNA genome, which does not exist as a continuous molecule, but is present in several segments. These are the families Arenaviridae, Bunyaviridae and Orthomyxoviridae. Similarly to members of the order Mononegavirales ( Chap. 15), they also require the presence of a special enzyme (RNA-dependent RNA polymerase) to perform the synthesis and replication of messenger RNA (mRNA); it reaches the cell along with other viral components during infection. A segmented genome enables the virus to generate reassortants. In this process, the RNA molecules of different virus strains are mixed or reshuffled in doubly infected cells during replication and morphogenesis. In this way, progeny viruses can obtain new combinations of RNA segments and thus gain novel properties. This mechanism, which is referred to as antigenic shift, is particularly common and well studied in influenza A viruses, the causative agents of viral influenza or genuine flu (Sect. 16.3).


Influenza Virus Rift Valley Fever Virus Infectious Salmon Anaemia Virus Lassa Fever Hantaan Virus 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Susanne Modrow
    • 1
    Email author
  • Dietrich Falke
    • 2
  • Uwe Truyen
    • 3
  • Hermann Schätzl
    • 4
  1. 1.Inst. Medizinische, Mikrobiologie und HygieneUniversität RegensburgRegensburgGermany
  2. 2.MainzGermany
  3. 3.Veterinärmedizinische Fak., Inst. Tierhygiene undUniversität LeipzigLeipzigGermany
  4. 4.Helmholtz Zentrum München, Institut für VirologieTU MünchenMünchenGermany

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