Severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome virus
- Myoung-don Oh, MD
Myoung-don Oh, MD
- Professor of Internal Medicine
- Seoul National University College of Medicine
Severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome (SFTS) is an emerging infectious zoonosis in China, Japan, and South Korea . The causative agent is commonly designated SFTS virus (SFTSV), a newly identified bunyavirus that appears to be carried by ticks (ie, Haemaphysalis longicornis).
Severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome (SFTS) virus (SFTSV) is a new member of the genus Phlebovirus in the family Bunyaviridae [2-4]. The closest relative is Bhanja virus, a tickborne human pathogenic phlebovirus that causes febrile illness and meningitis . Bunyaviruses are largely spherical, enveloped particles with a diameter of 80 to 120 nm. Particles carry three genomic segments designated large (L), medium (M), and small (S).
The L segment encodes the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRP), the M segment the glycoproteins Gn and Gc, and the S segment the nucleoprotein (N) and a nonstructural protein (NSs) using an ambisense coding strategy . The N protein encapsulates the genomic RNA; this complex is further associated with the L protein and forms the active transcriptase/replicase complex. The Gn and Gc glycoproteins form a heterodimer and shape the spikes on the surface of the virion. The glycoproteins mediate receptor binding and virus entry and are the target for neutralizing humoral immune responses .
The C-type lectin, DC-SIGN, has been identified as one of the factors for SFTSV attachment and entry into cells . The NSs protein serves as a type-I interferon antagonist that suppresses activation of innate immune responses via the IPS-1/IRF-3 and NF-kappaB pathways.
SFTSV has been classified into Chinese and Japanese lineages, consistent with the geographical distribution; the two lineages are further divided into six and four sub-lineages, respectively . The SFTSV strains isolated in South Korea are clustered in the Japanese lineage .
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