Purpose of review: The purpose was to review recent research on Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV) infection, encompassing four main areas: epidemiology and outbreak prediction, viral pathogenesis, human diagnostics and therapeutics, and vaccine and therapeutic candidates.
Recent findings: RVFV continues to extend its range in Africa and the Middle East. Better definition of RVFV-related clinical syndromes and human risk factors for severe disease, combined with early-warning systems based on remote-sensing, simplified rapid diagnostics, and tele-epidemiology, hold promise for earlier deployment of effective outbreak control measures. Advances in understanding of viral replication pathways and host cell-related pathogenesis suggest means for antiviral therapeutics and for more effective vaccination strategies based on genetically engineered virus strains or subunit vaccines.
Summary: RVFV is a significant health and economic burden in many areas of Africa, and remains a serious threat to other parts of the world. Development of more effective methods for RVFV outbreak prevention and control remains a global health priority.