Ivan V. Kuzmin and Peter J. Walker
from: Arboviruses: Molecular Biology, Evolution and Control (Edited by: Nikos Vasilakis and Duane J. Gubler). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2016) Pages: 71-88.
Rhabdoviruses constitute a large group of single-stranded negative-sense RNA viruses distinguished by their morphology and common phylogenetic origin. They infect a wide range of organisms including placental mammals, marsupials, birds, reptiles, fish, insects and plants. The majority of rhabdoviruses are arthropod-borne although some of them have adapted to circulation in vertebrate hosts without participation of arthropod vectors (such as lyssaviruses, novirhabdoviruses, spriviviruses and perhabdoviruses) or to circulation within insect populations (such as sigmaviruses). Rhabdoviruses have relatively simple genomes consisting of the five canonical genes (N, P, M, G and L) which may be overprinted, overlapped and interspersed with accessory genes. Despite the fact that the vesicular stomatitis virus has served as a model of negative-sense RNA viruses in various studies, many aspects of virus-host interactions, transmission and circulation patterns are still poorly understood. As appears from rhabdovirus pathobiology, even the canonical genes are multifunctional and serve for distinct functions in the diverse family representatives. Functions of the accessory genes are largely unknown. Rhabdoviruses pose global threat for public health, agri- and aquaculture, and to economy. Conversely, some of them have been successfully used for the development of novel recombinant biologics. The progress in molecular techniques facilitates virus characterization and discovery of novel pathogens but more studies in the laboratory and clinical setting are needed to understand pathobiology of rhabdoviruses and to design feasible mechanisms for prevention and control of rhabdoviral diseases read more ...