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Blood Coagul Fibrinolysis. 2000 Jul;11(5):461-83.

Hemorrhagic fever virus-induced changes in hemostasis and vascular biology.

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  • 1Department of Medical Biology, University of Tennessee Graduate School of Medicine, Knoxville, USA.

Erratum in

  • Blood Coagul Fibrinolysis 2001 Jan;12(1):84.


Viral hemorrhagic fever (VHF) denotes a virus-induced acute febrile, hemorrhagic disease reported from wide areas of the world. Hemorrhagic fever (HF) viruses are encapsulated, single-stranded RNA viruses that are associated with insect or rodent vectors whose interaction with humans defines the mode of disease transmission. There are 14 HF viruses, which belong to four viral families: Arenaviridae, Bunyaviridae, Filoviridae and Flaviviridae. This review presents, in order, the following aspects of VHF: (1) epidemiology, (2) anomalies of platelets and coagulation factors, (3) vasculopathy, (4) animal models of VHFs, (5) pathogenic mechanisms, and (6) treatment and future studies. HF viruses produce the manifestations of VHFs either by direct effects on cellular functions or by activation of immune and inflammatory pathways. In Lassa fever, Rift Valley fever and Crimean-Congo HF, the main feature of fatal illness appears to be impaired/delayed cellular immunity, which leads to unchecked viremia. However, in HF with renal syndrome and dengue HF, the immune response plays an active role in disease pathogenesis. The interplay of hemostasis, immune response, and inflammation is very complex. Molecular biologic techniques and the use of animal models have helped to unravel some of these interactions.

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