The genus Marburgvirus is the taxonomic home of one species whose members are two related viruses that form filamentous virions, Marburg virus (MARV) and Ravn virus (RAVV). Both viruses cause severe disease in humans and nonhuman primates in the form of viral hemorrhagic fevers and both are Select Agents, World Health Organization Risk Group 4 Pathogens (requiring Biosafety Level 4-equivalent containment), National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Category A Priority Pathogens, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Category A Bioterrorism Agents, and are listed as a Biological Agents for Export Control by the Australia Group.
Use of term
The genus Marburgvirus is a virological taxon (i.e. a man-made concept) included in the family Filoviridae, order Mononegavirales. The genus currently includes a single virus species, Marburg marburgvirus. The members of the genus (i.e. the actual physical entities) are called marburgviruses. The name Marburgvirus is derived from the city of Marburg in Hesse, West Germany (where Marburg virus was first discovered) and the taxonomic suffix -virus (which denotes a virus genus).
Marburgvirus is pronounced ˌmɑrbərg’vɑɪrəs (IPA) or mahr-berg-vahy-ruhs in English phonetic notation. According to the rules for taxon naming established by the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV), the name Marburgvirus is always to be capitalized, italicized, never abbreviated, and to be preceded by the word "genus". The names of its members (marburgviruses) are to be written in lower case, are not italicized, and used without articles.
Until 1998, the family Filoviridae contained only one genus, Filovirus. Once it became clear that marburgviruses and ebolaviruses are fundamentally different, this genus was abolished and a genus "Marburg-like viruses" was established for marburgviruses. In 2002, the genus name was changed to Marburgvirus, and in 2010 and 2011 the genus was emended.
Genus inclusion criteria
- its genome has one gene overlap
- its fourth gene (GP) encodes only one protein (GP1,2) and cotranscriptional editing is not necessary for its expression
- peak infectivity of its virions is association with particles ≈665 nm in length
- its genome differs from that of Marburg virus by <50% at the nucleotide level
- its virions show almost no antigenic cross reactivity with ebolavirions
|Species name||Virus name (abbreviation)|
|Marburg marburgvirus*||Marburg virus (MARV)|
|Ravn virus (RAVV)|
Table legend: "*" denotes type species.
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