Definition of arenavirus in English:



  • Any of a group of RNA viruses (including that causing Lassa fever) that appear under an electron microscope to contain granules that resemble sand.

    • ‘The other arenaviruses have been isolated since 1958.’
    • ‘The unit has contributed significantly to a better understanding of the pathogenesis and ecology of viruses such as Ebola, Crimean - Congo haemorrhagic fever, Marburg, Rift Valley fever and Lassa fever - related arenaviruses.’
    • ‘Viral illnesses known to cause petechial rashes include cytomegalovirus infections, atypical measles and viral hemorrhagic fevers caused by arboviruses and arenaviruses.’
    • ‘The medication has shown limited success in the treatment of patients with viral hemorrhagic fevers such as Lassa, Crimean-Congo, some New World arenaviruses, and Bunyaviruses. (25,28)’


1970s: from Latin arenosus ‘sandy’ (from arena ‘sand’) + virus.