A child with sickle cell anemia is seen in a hematology clinic. Her mother states that she has been feeling very
tired lately, and may have "come down with a virus." On physical examination, the girl is very pale, and a
complete blood count shows severe anemia. A bone marrow aspirate contains no erythroid precursor cells. The
girl was probably infected with which of the following viruses?
A. Coxsackie virus B. Echovirus C. Hepadnavirus D. Herpes virus E. Parvovirus
Parvovirus-the correct answer is e. parvoviruses are small single-stranded dna viruses, of which only serotype b19 is
pathogenic for humans. this virus causes three distinct syndromes: a childhood febrile rash known as
erythema infectiosum (fifth disease); aplastic crisis in individuals with chronic hemolytic diseases (sickle cell
anemia, thalassemia, etc); and congenital infections that can present as stillbirth, hydrops fetalis (analogous to
severe rh incompatibility), or severe anemia.
coxsackie viruses (choice a) usually cause cold-like illness, but can cause herpangina, myocarditis, and
echoviruses (choice b) can infect a variety of organ systems (gi, cns, eyes, heart, respiratory, skin), but are
not a cause of aplastic crises.
hepadnavirus (choice c) is the causative agent of hepatitis b.
herpes viruses (choice d) cause a variety of acute to chronic infections including herpes simplex types i and ii,
chicken pox, chronic herpes zoster, cmv infection, and epstein barr virus infections.