Description of Guanarito virus (Arenaviridae: Arenavirus), the etiologic agent of Venezuelan hemorrhagic fever

Am J Trop Med Hyg. 1994 Apr;50(4):452-9. doi: 10.4269/ajtmh.1994.50.452.


This paper characterizes Guanarito virus, the etiologic agent of Venezuelan hemorrhagic fever. Based on its morphology and antigenic properties, Guanarito virus appears to be a new member of the Tacaribe complex of the genus Arenavirus, family Arenaviridae. Complement fixation and indirect fluorescent antibody tests showed that Guanarito virus and its antiserum are broadly cross-reactive with other members of the Tacaribe complex, but it can be differentiated from other members of the complex by neutralization test. Guanarito virus causes mortality in suckling mice and adult guinea pigs, but not in adult mice. Inoculated rhesus monkeys developed viremia and became ill; however, they subsequently recovered and responded with production of antibody. To date, all isolates of Guanarito virus have come from sick persons or wild rodents living within a single geographic focus in the central plains of Venezuela.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Animals, Suckling
  • Antigens, Viral / analysis
  • Antigens, Viral / immunology
  • Arenaviruses, New World / immunology
  • Arenaviruses, New World / pathogenicity*
  • Arenaviruses, New World / ultrastructure
  • Cell Line
  • Complement Fixation Tests
  • Cross Reactions
  • Cytopathogenic Effect, Viral
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Guinea Pigs
  • Hemorrhagic Fever, American / microbiology*
  • Humans
  • Macaca mulatta
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Neutralization Tests
  • Venezuela
  • Vero Cells
  • Viremia / microbiology


  • Antigens, Viral