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Nat Med. 2004 Dec;10(12 Suppl):S110-21.

Exotic emerging viral diseases: progress and challenges.

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Virology Division, US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, 1425 Porter Street, Fort Detrick, Maryland 21702-5011, USA.


The agents causing viral hemorrhagic fever (VHF) are a taxonomically diverse group of viruses that may share commonalities in the process whereby they produce systemic and frequently fatal disease. Significant progress has been made in understanding the biology of the Ebola virus, one of the best known examples. This knowledge has guided our thinking about other VHF agents, including Marburg, Lassa, the South American arenaviruses, yellow fever, Crimean-Congo and Rift Valley fever viruses. Comparisons among VHFs show that a common pathogenic feature is their ability to disable the host immune response by attacking and manipulating the cells that initiate the antiviral response. Of equal importance, these comparisons highlight critical gaps in our knowledge of these pathogens.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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