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Hello, my name is Laura Kramer and I am a professor of
biomedical sciences at the State University of New York at Albany,
and the Director of the Arbovirus Laboratory at the Wadsworth Center,
New York State Department of Health in Albany, New York, USA.
In this lecture, I am going to discuss an order of
vector-borne RNA viruses, the Bunyavirales.
I will begin with an outline of what I'll be presenting today.
In the first part of the lecture,
I will discuss the basic biology of the order Bunyavirales.
I will start with virus classification,
which has changed over time.
I will go into the viral structure and basic replication strategy,
which together bring these viruses to form a group.
Then, I will address their vector and disease association.
I will follow with virus families and genera that make up the order Bunyavirales;
the enzootic transmission cycle of selected viruses that are medically important,
their prevalence and distribution and the diseases they cause.
In 2017, the International Committee of Taxonomy on Viruses, or
the ICTV, reclassified the family Bunyaviridae to the order Bunyavirales.
This was a taxonomic shift from a family of viruses to an order of viruses.
You may ask why was the classification revised from the former family Bunyaviridae?
The reasons were that approximately half of the viruses in
the former Bunyaviridae were at the time unassigned to a genus.
The second reason is that novel viruses were discovered that were
characteristic of and clustered around Bunyaviridae based on phylogenetic analyses,
but these viruses had
bi-segmented genomes as opposed to the Bunyaviridae tri-segmentation,
which we will get into later in this talk.
The third reason that they made the change in classification is that plant viruses
also lacking tri-segmentation were previously known to be bunya-like,
yet were not properly assigned to the family
Bunyaviridae based upon the past taxonomic classifications.