Parainfluenza Viruses

  • W. Paul Glezen
  • Floyd W. Denny


The parainfluenza viruses are species of the genus Paramyxovirus, family Paramyxoviridae.(101) They are exceeded only by respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) as important causes of lower respiratory disease in young children, and they commonly reinfect older children and adults to produce upper respiratory illnesses. There is considerable diversity in both epidemiologic and clinical manifestations of infections by the parainfluenza viruses. Parainfluenza virus type 1 (Para 1) is the principal cause of croup (laryngotracheobronchitis) in children, and parainfluenza virus type 3 (Para 3) is second only to RSV as a cause of pneumonia and bronchiolitis in infants less than 6 months of age. Parainfluenza virus type 2 (Para 2) resembles Para 1 in clinical manifestations, but serious illnesses occur less frequently; infections with parainfluenza virus type 4 (Para 4) are detected infrequently, and associated illnesses are usually inconsequential.


Respiratory Syncytial Virus Lower Respiratory Tract Respiratory Virus Acute Respiratory Disease Acute Viral Infection 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. Paul Glezen
    • 1
  • Floyd W. Denny
    • 2
  1. 1.Influenza Research Center, Department of Microbiology and ImmunologyBaylor College of MedicineHoustonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Pediatrics, School of MedicineUniversity of North CarolinaChapel HillUSA

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