Introduction. The scope of this review is limited to the basic biochemical constituency of the bunyaviruses and the structure-function relationships of their proteins and nucleic acids. The complex antigenic relationships among bunyaviruses have been reviewed elsewhere (Casals, 1971; Murphy, Harrison & Whitfield, 1973; Murphy, 1975; Porterfield 1973/4, 1975/6), and extensive ecological and epidemiological information can be found in several other timely reviews (Proceedings of the Symposium on Arboviruses of the California Complex and the Bunyamwera Groups, 1969; Henderson & Coleman, 1970; Sudia 1971; Parkin, Hammon & Sather, 1972; Berge, 1975).

The family Bunyaviridae is a newly defined taxonomic group of arboviruses which contain lipid envelopes and segmented RNA genomes. Previously, about 90 viruses had been assigned to 11 serogroups, and these were brought together on the basis of distant serological cross-reactions to form the Bunyamwera serological supergroup.


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