RNA Viruses: Introduction, Family, Common Names, Virion, Capsid Symmetry, Nucleic Acid Type, Grouping, and Keynotes


The virus has either DNA or RNA nucleic acid and RNA viruses have RNA nucleic acids. During the replication of these viruses, there are at least three types of RNA that must be synthesized. They are- the genome, a copy of the genome (copy genome), and mRNAs. Some of these viruses also synthesize copies of subgenomic mRNAs. RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) is the key player in all of these processes. During the viral genome synthesis replicase complex is required while RNA helicases help to unwind base-paired regions of the RNA genome and ATPases supply energy for the polymerization process. Some RNA viruses and causing diseases are mentioned in a table.

S.No.Name of virusesDisease/infection
2.HCV, HAV, HEVHepatitis
3.RubellaRubella (German Measles)
4.Dengue virusDengue fever
5.Influenza virusInfluenza (flu)/Seasonal influenza
6.SARS-CoV-2 virusCOVID-19
7.Rabies virus( Rabies lyssavirus)Rabies
8.PoliovirusPolio/ poliomyelitis
9.NorovirusesAcute gastrointestinal illness
Table: Viruses and their diseases
Nucleic acid extraction of Virus
Fig. Nucleic acid extraction of Virus

RNA Viruses family, common names, virion, capsid symmetry, nucleic acid type, and grouping

Viruses family, common names, virion, capsid symmetry, nucleic acid type, and grouping are as follows-

Common NameVirion naked/
ReoviridaeReovirus, RotavirusNakedIcosahedralDsIII
PicornaviridaeEnterovirus Coxsackie, Rhinovirus, Poliovirus, Hepatovirus, Arbovirus NakedIcosahedralSsIV
CaliciviridaeNorwalk virus, Hepatitis E virusNakedIcosahedralSsIV
TogaviridaeRubella virusEnvelopedIcosahedralSsIV
ArenaviridaeLymphocytic choriomeningitis virusEnvelopedComplexSs(-)V
FlaviviridaeDengue virus, Hepatitis C virus, Yellow fever virusEnvelopedIcosahedralSsIV
OrthomyxoviridaeInfluenzavirus A, Influenzavirus B, Influenzavirus CEnvelopedHelicalss(-)V
ParamyxoviridaeMeasles virus, Mumps virus, Respiratory syncytial virus,EnvelopedHelicalss(-)V
BunyaviridaeCalifornia encephalitis virus, HantavirusEnvelopedHelicalss(-)V
RhabdoviridaeRabies virusEnvelopedHelicalss(-)V
FiloviridaeEbola virus, Marburg virusEnvelopedHelicalss(-)V
BornaviridaeBorna disease virusEnvelopedHelicalss(-)V
ArteriviridaeArterivirus, Equine Arteritis
Table: Viruses family, common names, virion, capsid symmetry, nucleic acid type, and grouping


  • RNA viruses replicate their genomes by applying virally encoded RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp).
  • Some positive-Strand RNA Viruses families include Picornaviridae, Flaviviridae, Togaviridae, Hepeviridae, Coronaviridae, Arteriviridae, and Toroviridae.
  • Families of Negative-strand RNA viruses families are Orthomyxoviridae, Paramyxoviridae, Rhabdoviridae, Bornaviridae, and Filoviridae.
  • RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) of all RNA viruses probably comes from a common ancestor.

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