Although human B19 parvovirus infection has been clearly associated with a number of distinct syndromes (including severe anemia, abortion, and arthritis), detailed knowledge of its pathogenesis has been hindered by the lack of a suitable animal model. We have identified a novel simian parvovirus in cynomolgus monkeys with severe anemia. Sequencing of a 723-bp fragment of cloned viral DNA extracted from serum revealed that the simian parvovirus has 65% homology at the DNA level with the human B19 parvovirus but little homology with other known parvoviruses. Light microscopic examination of bone marrow from infected animals showed intranuclear inclusion bodies, and ultrastructural studies showed viral arrays characteristic of parvoviruses. Another striking feature was the presence of marked dyserythropoiesis in cells of the erythroid lineage, raising the possibility that B19 parvovirus infection may underlie related dyserythropoietic syndromes in human beings. Affected animals had concurrent infection with the immunosuppressive type D simian retrovirus, analogous to HIV patients who develop severe anemia because of infection with B19 parvovirus. The remarkable similarities between the simian and B19 parvoviruses suggest that experimentally infected cynomolgus monkeys may serve as a useful animal model of human B19 infection.
- congenital dyserythropoietic anemia
- human B19 parvovirus
- parvovirus infections