What are arboviruses and how they affect us


The arboviruses were previously grouped as a family because of their common mode of transmission by arthropods (arthropod-borne viruses). They produce viraemia in their vertebrate hosts, and infect blood-sucking arthropod hosts (mosquitoes, ticks, sandflies and biting midges) during feeding; after replication in the arthropod they are transmitted in the saliva injected during feeding. Many of these virus infections are zoonoses transmitted primarily between vectors and animals. Transovarial transmission in ticks, sandflies and mosquitoes, and transtadial transmission in ticks, are probably important maintenance mechanisms. However, most of the former arboviruses were taxonomically unrelated, and have now been regrouped in related families:

  • Togaviridae Alphaviruses (former group A arboviruses) are the principal genus
  • Flaviridae Flaviviruses (former group B arboviruses) are the principal genus (type virus yellow fever)
  • Bunyaviridae
  • Reoviridae
  • Rhabdoviridae

Many of the viruses produce encephalitis, haemorrhagic fever or arthritis in various combinations, which also provided some clinical justification for their former grouping. However, there is no close correlation between taxonomically related viruses and the particular clinical syndromes they produce, and the diseases associated with a particular virus are thus now described under the appropriate individual virus headings.

Concepts of infection
Major manifestations of infection
Principles of management of infection
Diseases due to viruses
DNA viruses
Diseases due to chlamydiae
Diseases due to rickettsiae
Diseases due to bacteria
  • Streptococcal infections
  • Staphylococcal infections
  • Corynebacterial infections
  • Bacillus infections
  • Bordetella infections
  • Salmonella infections
  • Food poisoning
  • Dysentery
  • Other true bacterial infections
  • Mycobacterial infections
Diseases due to spirochaetes
  • Leptospira infections
  • Borrelia infections
  • Treponema infections
Diseases due to fungi (mycoses)
  • Cutaneous fungal infections
  • Subcutaneous fungal infections
  • Systemic fungal infections
Diseases due to protozoa
Diseases due to helminths
  • Trematode (fluke) infections
  • Cestode (tapeworm) infections
  • Nematode (roundworm) infections
  • Zoonotic helminth infections
Diseases due to arthropods
Sexually transmitted diseases
  • Sexually transmitted bacterial diseases
  • Sexually transmitted viral diseases
  • Miscellaneous conditions