Borna is the newest human viral kid on the block ! For over 200 years it has been known as an animal disease of horses and sheep. In fact, it is actually named after a small town in Germany where in 1885 a huge amount of horses died after being infected with this virus. In the late 1990ís, researchers discovered that humans also carry the Borna disease virus (BDV). Studies have demonstrated an association with BDV and human psychiatric conditions and mood disorders such as schizophrenia, paranoid psychosis, and depression.
THE LOW DOWN:
This fun filled RNA virus is enveloped, non segmented, and negative stranded. Based on similarities of genomic organization, this family has been classified within the order Mononegavirales (where it hangs out with other exciting families such as Filoviridae, Paramyxoviridae, and Rabdoviridae.)
THE OOHS & AAHS:Among NNS RNA viruses, it is unique in that it replicates and transcribes within the nucleus.
Remarkable wide host range including: cattle, cats, donkeys, rabbits, ostriches, and humans. In experiments, infection has been shown in birds, rabbits, rodents, and non human primates.
Strikingly stable genome. It demonstrates a level of sequence conservatism that is uncommon for an animal NNS RNA virus. What are the implications of this fun fact? Its genomic stability may indicate that there is a prevalent and stable species of BDV in nature that has the ability to infect animals and humans.