Skip to Content
Medical Term:


Pronunciation: ar′bō-vī′rŭs


A name for a large, heterogeneous group of RNA viruses. There are more than 500 species, which are distributed among several families (Togaviridae, Flaviviridae, Bunyaviridae, Arenaviridae, Rhabdoviridae, Reoviridae), and have been recovered from arthropods, bats, and rodents; most, but not all, are arthropod borne. These taxonomically diverse animal viruses are unified by an epidemiologic concept, transmission between vertebrate hosts by blood-feeding (hematophagous) arthropod vectors (mosquitoes, ticks, sandflies, and midges). Although about 100 species can infect humans, in most instances diseases produced by these viruses are of a mild nature and difficult to distinguish from illnesses caused by viruses of other taxonomic groups. Apparent infections may be separated into several clinical syndromes: undifferentiated-type fevers (systemic febrile disease), hepatitis, hemorrhagic fevers, and encephalitides.

[ar, arthropod, + bo, borne, + virus]

© Copyright 2017 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review Date: Sep 19, 2016.