Hanta Virus- An Overview


Hantavirus is a type of virus that belongs to the Bunyaviridae family, which consists of five genera: bunyavirus, phlebovirus, nairovirus, tospovirus, and hantavirus. All these genera are composed of negative-sense, single-stranded RNA viruses that are transmitted by arthropods, except for hantavirus, which is carried by rodents. Hantavirus can cause two potentially fatal diseases in humans: hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) and hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS), which are characterized by defects in vascular permeability and platelet function.

Hantavirus has a spherical or pleomorphic shape with a diameter of about 120-160 nm . The virus has a lipid envelope that surrounds three nucleocapsids and has surface projections that form a grid-like structure . The envelope is embedded with two glycoproteins, Gn and Gc, which are involved in attachment to host receptors and membrane fusion . The nucleocapsids are helical and contain the viral genome, which consists of three segments: S (small), M (medium), and L (large) . The S segment encodes the nucleocapsid (N) protein, which protects the viral RNA and forms the ribonucleoprotein complex . The M segment encodes a polyprotein that is cleaved into the Gn and Gc glycoproteins . The L segment encodes the L protein, which functions as the viral transcriptase/replicase and has an endonuclease activity that cleaves cellular mRNAs for capping viral mRNAs .