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Intervirology. 2008;51(2):116-22. doi: 10.1159/000137411. Epub 2008 Jun 9.

Human bocavirus--a novel parvovirus to infect humans.

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Institute of Medical Microbiology and Hygiene, University of Regensburg, Regensburg, Germany.


For almost three decades parvovirus B19 has been described as the only member of the Parvoviridae to infect and cause illness in humans. This statement was correct until 2005 when a group of Swedish scientists identified a previously uncharacterized virus in pools of human nasopharyngeal aspirates obtained from individuals suffering from diseases of the respiratory tract. Comprehensive sequence and phylogenetic analysis allowed the identification of the new virus as a member of the Parvoviridae. Based on its close relation to the minute virus of canines and the bovine parvovirus, it was named human bocavirus (HBoV). Since the identification of HBoV, viral genomes have been frequently detected worldwide in nasopharyngeal swabs, serum and fecal samples almost exclusively derived from young children with various symptoms of the respiratory or the gastrointestinal tract. The detection of HBoV genomes tends to be associated with elevated rates of coinfections with further respiratory viruses, e.g. respiratory syncytial virus or metapneumovirus. First studies on virus-specific immune responses have described the presence of ubiquitous humoral and cellular immune reactions against HBoV in adults and adolescents, indicating a high seroprevalence of this new virus in humans.

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