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Some zoonotic viruses are transmitted in nature without regard to humans and only incidentally infect and produce disease in humans; in addition, a few agents are regularly spread among humans by arthropods. Most of these viruses either are maintained by arthropods or chronically infect rodents. Obviously, the mode of transmission is not a rational basis for taxonomic classification. Indeed, zoonotic viruses from at least seven families act as significant human pathogens (Table 196-1). The virus families differ fundamentally from one another in terms of morphology, replication mechanisms, and genetics. Information on a virus's membership in a family or genus is enlightening with regard to maintenance strategies, sensitivity to antiviral agents, and some aspects of pathogenesis but does not necessarily predict which clinical syndromes (if any) the virus will cause in humans.

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Table 196-1 Major Zoonotic Virus Families and Some Characteristics of Typical Members

Families of Arthropod- ...

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