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Volume 24, Number 2—February 2018
Etymologia

Etymologia: Parvovirus

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Eduardo K.U.N. FonsecaComments to Author 

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Parvovirus [pahr′ vo-vi′′res]

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Thumbnail of This electron micrograph depicts a number of parvovirus H-1 virions of the Parvoviridae family of DNA viruses. Photo CDC/ R. Regnery; E. L. Palmer, 1981.

Figure. This electron micrograph depicts a number of parvovirus H-1 virions of the Parvoviridae family of DNA viruses. Photo CDC/ R. Regnery; E. L. Palmer, 1981.

Viruses of the family Parvoviridae (Latin parvum [meaning small or tiny]) are among the smallest viruses described, 18–28 nm in diameter (Figure). There are 2 subfamilies of the family Parvoviridae: Parvovirinae and Densovirina (Latin denso [thick or compact]). Parvovirinae may infect humans, but Densovirina infect only arthropods (1). Structurally, these viruses are nonenveloped, icosahedral viruses that contain a single-stranded linear DNA genome (2,3).

The small size of these viruses might account for their late discovery. In 1974, the first pathogenic human parvovirus was discovered and named B19 from the coding of a serum sample, number 19 in panel B, that gave anomalous results during testing for hepatitis B (4). Although human B19 infections are more often asymptomatic or lead to mild rash illnesses and arthralgias, they can also cause severe anemia in fetuses and in persons with underlying hemoglobinopathies (5).

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References

  1. Tattersall  P, Cotmore  SF. Parvoviruses. In: Topley WW, Wilson GS, editors. Topley & Wilson’s microbiology and microbial infections. Vol. 1, 10th ed. London: Hodder Arnold; 2005. p. 407−39.
  2. Pattison  JR. B19 virus—a pathogenic human parvovirus. Blood Rev. 1987;1:5864. DOIPubMed
  3. Servey  JT, Reamy  BV, Hodge  J. Clinical presentations of parvovirus B19 infection. Am Fam Physician. 2007;75:3736.PubMed
  4. Cossart  YE, Field  AM, Cant  B, Widdows  D. Parvovirus-like particles in human sera. Lancet. 1975;1:723. DOIPubMed
  5. Young  NS, Brown  KE. Parvovirus B19. N Engl J Med. 2004;350:58697. DOIPubMed

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Cite This Article

DOI: 10.3201/eid2402.et2402

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Table of Contents – Volume 24, Number 2—February 2018

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Eduardo Kaiser Ururahy Nunes Fonseca, Escola Paulista de Medicina, Rua Dr. Diogo de Faria, 1201 Apto 178, São Paulo 04037-004, Brazil

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Page created: January 17, 2018
Page updated: January 17, 2018
Page reviewed: January 17, 2018
The conclusions, findings, and opinions expressed by authors contributing to this journal do not necessarily reflect the official position of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Public Health Service, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or the authors' affiliated institutions. Use of trade names is for identification only and does not imply endorsement by any of the groups named above.
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