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Stem Cells. 2011 Nov;29(11):1656-60. doi: 10.1002/stem.725.

Concise review: Anemia caused by viruses.

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Centre des Innovations Thérapeutiques en Oncologie et Hématologie, CHU Saint-Louis, Paris, France.


Most of the viruses known to be associated with anemia in human tend to persistently infect their host and are noncytopathic or poorly cytopathic for blood cell progenitors. Infections with Epstein-Barr virus, cytomegalovirus, varicella-zoster virus, human herpes virus 6 (HHV-6), B19 parvovirus, human immunodeficiency virus, hepatitis A and C viruses and the putative viral agent associated with non-A-G post-hepatitis aplastic anemia have been reported in association with anemia. Nevertheless, a direct cytotoxic effect on erythroid progenitors has been clearly demonstrated only for human parvovirus B19 and evocated for HHV-6. A major role for destructive immunity is strongly suspected in the pathogenesis of anemia associated with the other viral infections. Host genes play a role in the occurrence of virus-induced anemia in animal models, and there are some evidences that genetic background could also influence the occurrence of virus-associated anemia in human.

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