This article reviews recent research on Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV) infection, encompassing four main areas: epidemiology and outbreak prediction, viral pathogenesis, human diagnostics and therapeutics, and vaccine and therapeutic candidates. RVFV continues to extend its range in Africa and the Middle East. Better definition of RVFV-related clinical syndromes and human risk factors for severe disease, combined with early-warning systems based on remote-sensing, simplified rapid diagnostics, and tele-epidemiology, hold promise for earlier deployment of effective outbreak control measures. Advances in understanding of viral replication pathways and host cell-related pathogenesis suggest means for antiviral therapeutics and for more effective vaccination strategies based on genetically engineered virus strains or subunit vaccines. RVFV is a significant health and economic burden in many areas of Africa, and remains a serious threat to other parts of the world. Development of more effective methods for RVFV outbreak prevention and control remains a global health priority.
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