What is Togaviruses?
The Togaviridae are a family of viruses, including the following genera:
- Genus Alphavirus; type species: Sindbis virus, Eastern equine encephalitis virus, Western equine encephalitis virus, Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus, Ross River virus, O'nyong'nyong virus, Chikungunya, Semliki Forest virus
- Genus Rubivirus; type species: Rubella virus
The Togaviridae family belong to group IV of the Baltimore classification of viruses. The genome is linear, single-stranded, positive sense RNA that is 10,000–12,000 nucleotides long. The 5'-terminus carries a methylated nucleotide cap and the 3'-terminus has a polyadenylated tail, therefore resembling cellular mRNA. The virus is enveloped and forms spherical particles (65–70 nm diameter), the capsid within is icosahedral, constructed of 240 monomers, having a triangulation number of 4. The receptors for binding are unknown, however the tropism is varied and it is known that the glycoprotein petal-like spikes act as attachment proteins. After virus attachment and entry into the cell, gene expression and replication takes place within the cytoplasm. The vector for Togaviridæ is primarily the mosquito, where replication of the virus occurs. The Togaviridae family is classified into Old World and New World viruses based on geographical distribution, although it’s likely that a few transoceanic crossings have occurred