Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV) causes large outbreaks of acute febrile and often fatal illness among humans and domesticated animals in sub-saharan Africa and the Arabian peninsula. RVFV is a member of the family Bunyaviridae, genus Phlebovirus. Like all members of this large virus family, it contains a three-segmented genome of negative/ambisense strand RNA, packaged into viral nucleocapsid protein, and enveloped by a lipid bilayer containing two viral glycoproteins. During the past years, there was an increased interest in RVFV epidemiology, molecular biology, and virulence mechanisms. Here, we will try to provide an overview over the basic features of this significant pathogen, and review the latest developments in this highly active research field.
Keywords: Rift Valley fever; interferon antagonism.; non-structural proteins; reverse genetics.