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Clin Microbiol Rev. 2003 Apr;16(2):242-64.

Parainfluenza viruses.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53226, USA. kellyj@mcw.edu

Abstract

Human parainfluenza viruses (HPIV) were first discovered in the late 1950s. Over the last decade, considerable knowledge about their molecular structure and function has been accumulated. This has led to significant changes in both the nomenclature and taxonomic relationships of these viruses. HPIV is genetically and antigenically divided into types 1 to 4. Further major subtypes of HPIV-4 (A and B) and subgroups/genotypes of HPIV-1 and HPIV-3 have been described. HPIV-1 to HPIV-3 are major causes of lower respiratory infections in infants, young children, the immunocompromised, the chronically ill, and the elderly. Each subtype can cause somewhat unique clinical diseases in different hosts. HPIV are enveloped and of medium size (150 to 250 nm), and their RNA genome is in the negative sense. These viruses belong to the Paramyxoviridae family, one of the largest and most rapidly growing groups of viruses causing significant human and veterinary disease. HPIV are closely related to recently discovered megamyxoviruses (Hendra and Nipah viruses) and metapneumovirus.

PMID:
12692097
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC153148
Free PMC Article
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