Bornaviridae: Borna Disease Virus
                                                                            Bornaviridae: Born-to-be-VIRAL!                                                                                               UMarburg: Institute for Virology

About Bornaviridae

Bornaviruses are so named for the town in Germany where they were first described in 1776 as an infection of horses. The virus has since been discovered to be prevalent in humans and a wide variety of animals. Its mysterious association with neuropsychiatric disorders has made borna disease virus (BDV) an exciting new topic in medical research.

BDV is a negative-sense, monopartite, single stranded RNA virus.  The enveloped viron appears spherical and contains a helical capsid. It is a non-lytic, persistent, neurotropic virus. Bornaviridae is classified in the order Mononegavirilies, but unlike other families of this order BDV replicates in the host nucleus and has overlapping transcriptional units, some of which undergo splicing by the cellular machinery.  BDV has three transcriptional units and at least six proteins listed below:

Unit 1
  • nucleoprotein (N)
Unit 2 - overlapping 
  • x protein (X) (a negative regulator of the polymerase)
  • phosphoprotien (P)
Unit 3 - overlapping, regulatory splicing
  •  matrix (M)
  • glycoprotein (G)
  •  polymerase (L)