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Subspecialties Microbiology and immunology, Training and education

Why Didn’t They Teach This in Med School?

Match these viruses with the name of the country in which they were first discovered.

1. Junin virus A. Argentina
2. Lassa virus B. Bolivia
3. Lujo virus C. Nigeria
4. Machupo virus D. South Africa

The Arenaviridae can cause hemorrhagic fever in humans. Junin virus, the cause of Argentinian hemorrhagic fevers, was isolated in 1956, followed by Machupo virus in 1963, Lassa virus in 1969, and Lujo virus in 2008.

Clinically, the most important arenavirus in North America is lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV), considered “an under-recognized cause of neurologic disease in the fetus, child, and adult (1).” Discovered in 1933, LCMV does not cause hemorrhagic fever, but a CNS infection. A “sandy” appearance under the electron microscope gave the Arenaviridae their name (from the Latin harena, meaning “sand”).

Read on to discover the answers!


1. Junin virus A. Argentina
2. Lassa virus C. Nigeria
3. Lujo virus D. South Africa
4. Machupo virus B. Bolivia

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About the Author

Ivan Damjanov

Ivan Damjanov is Professor Emeritus of Pathology at the University of Kansas, Kansas City, USA.

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