Taxobox | color=violet
name = "Parvovirus"
virus_group = ii
familia = "Parvoviridae"
genus = "Parvovirus"
subdivision_ranks = Species
subdivision = "Canine parvovirus" "Chicken parvovirus" "Feline panleukopenia virus" "Feline parvovirus" "HB virus" "H-1 virus" "Kilham rat virus" "Lapine parvovirus" "LUIII virus" "Mink enteritis virus" "Minute virus of mice" "Murine parvovirus 1" "Porcine parvovirus" "Raccoon parvovirus" "RT parvovirus" "Tumor virus X"

"Parvovirus", commonly abbreviated to parvo, is a genus of the "Parvoviridae" family linear, non-segmented single stranded DNA viruses with an average genome size of 5 kbp. Parvoviruses are some of the smallest viruses found in nature (hence the name, from Latin "parvus" meaning "small"). Some have been found as small as 23nm.

Many types of mammalian species have a strain of parvovirus associated with them. Parvoviruses tend to be specific about the taxon of animal they will infect, but this is a somewhat flexible characteristic. Thus, all strains of canine parvovirus will affect dogs, wolves, and foxes, but only some of them will infect cats.

No members of the genus Parvovirus are currently known to infect humans, but humans can be infected by viruses from three other genera from the Family Parvoviridae. These are the Dependoviruses (e.g. Adeno-Associated Virus), the Erythroviruses (e.g. Parvovirus B19) and the Bocaviruses.


The viral capsid of parvovirus is made up of 3 proteins known as VP1, VP2 and NS1 that form an icosahedral structure that is resistant to pH, solvents and temperature up to 50°C.

Inside the capsid is a single stranded DNA genome. At the 5’ and 3’ ends of this genome are palindromic sequences of approximately 115 nucleotides that form hairpins and are essential for viral genome replication.

Parvovirus Replication

In order to enter host cells parvoviruses bind to a cell surface receptor. Once in the host cell the virus' DNA genome is translocated to the nucleus where transcription of the genes encoding the non-structural proteins into mRNA occurs. The mRNAs are transported out of the nucleus into the cytoplasm where the host ribosomes translate them into viral proteins. Next the CAP (capsid) proteins are transcribed and translated in the same way as the non-structural proteins. The replication of the viral genome can then occur. The process by which the parvovirus genome is replicated is poorly understood, although host DNA polymerase is needed for replication. Once the genome has replicated it is packaged inside the viral capsid within the cytoplasm.

Parvoviruses do not have an envelope and so are only released when the cell undergoes lysis.

In order for viral replication to take place the infected cells must be non-quiescent cells (i.e. must be actively mitotic). This is because the virus relies heavily on the host cell's replication machinery and therefore require the cell to pass through S phase. Unlike polyomaviruses, parvoviruses are unable to turn on DNA synthesis in host cells.


Parvoviruses can cause disease in some animals. Because the viruses require actively dividing cells in order to replicate, the type of tissue infected varies with the age of the animal. The gastrointestinal tract and lymphatic system can be affected at any age, leading to vomiting, diarrhea and immunosuppression, but cerebellar hypoplasia is only seen in cats that were infected in the womb or at less than two weeks of age, and disease of the myocardium is seen in puppies infected between the ages of three and eight weeks.cite book|author=Fenner, Frank J.; Gibbs, E. Paul J.; Murphy, Frederick A.; Rott, Rudolph; Studdert, Michael J.; White, David O.|title=Veterinary Virology (2nd ed.)|publisher=Academic Press, Inc|year=1993|id=ISBN 0-12-253056-X]

"Canine parvovirus" is a particularly deadly disease among young puppies, about 80% fatal, causing gastrointestinal tract damage and dehydration as well as a cardiac syndrome in very young pups. It is spread by contact with an infected dog's feces. Symptoms include lethargy, severe diarrhea, fever, vomiting, loss of appetite, and dehydration. "Mouse parvovirus 1", however, causes no symptoms but can contaminate immunology experiments in biological research laboratories. "Porcine parvovirus" causes a reproductive disease in swine known as SMEDI, which stands for stillbirth, mummification, embryonic death, and infertility. Feline panleukopenia is common in kittens and causes fever, low white blood cell count, diarrhea, and death. Infection of the cat fetus and kittens less than two weeks old causes cerebellar hypoplasia. "Mink enteritis virus" is similar in effect to feline panleukopenia, except that it does not cause cerebellar hypoplasia. A different parvovirus causes Aleutian disease in minks and other mustelids, characterized by lymphadenopathy, splenomegaly, glomerulonephritis, anemia, and death. The most accurate diagnosis of parvovirus is by ELISA. Dogs, cats and swine can be vaccinated against parvovirus.

"Parvovirus B19", which causes fifth disease in humans, is a member of the "Erythrovirus" genus of "Parvoviridae" rather than "Parvovirus".

ee also


Further reading

[ Feline Parvovirus by Cats Protection]

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Look at other dictionaries:

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  • parvovirus — ● parvovirus nom masculin Virus à A.D.N., de petite taille, de la famille des Parvoviridæ …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • parvovirus — [pär′vō vī΄rəs] n. any of a family (Parvoviridae) of very small DNA viruses affecting a wide range of vertebrates and some invertebrates, including viruses which cause acute enteritis in dogs and cats and which can be fatal to puppies and kittens …   English World dictionary

  • Parvovirus — Familie Parvoviridae Parvovirus B19 Systematik Reich: Viren Familie: Parvoviridae …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Parvovirus — Parvoviridae Parvoviridés …   Wikipédia en Français

  • parvovirus — noun Etymology: New Latin, from Latin parvus small (akin to Greek pauros small, paid , pais child) + New Latin o + virus more at few Date: 1965 1. any of a family (Parvoviridae, especially genus Parvovirus) of small single stranded DNA viruses… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Parvovirus — A genus of viruses (family Parvoviridae) that replicate autonomously in suitable cells. Strain B19 infects humans, causing erythema infectiosum and aplastic crisis in hemolytic anemia. [L. parvus, small, + virus] * * * par·vo·vi·rus pär vō .vī… …   Medical dictionary

  • parvovirus — /pahr voh vuy reuhs/, n., pl. parvoviruses. 1. Vet. Pathol. a highly contagious, often fatal viral disease of dogs, characterized by vomiting, severe diarrhea, and depression and accompanied by high fever and loss of appetite. 2. any of several… …   Universalium

  • parvovirus — noun any single stranded DNA viruses, of the genus Parvovirus, being the smallest found in nature; they infect only mammals …   Wiktionary

  • parvovirus — n. any member of a genus of small DNA containing viruses. Human parvovirus B19 is the only member to cause disease in humans. It destroys red blood cells and is responsible for severe anaemia in patients with sickle cell disease. Infection during …   The new mediacal dictionary

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