viral antigen

Virus disease

These are tables of the clinically most important viruses. A vast number of viruses cause infectious diseases, but these are the major ones.

By family

The clinically most notable virus species belong to the following families:

Comparison table of clinically important virus families and species
Family Baltimore group Important species envelopment Virion shape Replication site
Adenoviridae dsDNA adenovirus non-enveloped icosahedral nucleus
Picornaviridae +ssRNA coxsackievirus, hepatitis a virus, poliovirus non-enveloped icosahedral
Herpesviridae dsDNA epstein-barr virus, herpes simplex, type 1, herpes simplex, type 2, human cytomegalovirus, human herpesvirus, type 8, varicella-zoster virus enveloped nucleus
Hepadnaviridae dsDNA and ssDNA hepatitis B virus enveloped icosahedral nucleus
Flaviviridae +ssRNA hepatitis C virus, yellow fever virus, dengue virus, west Nile virus, other Flaviviruses enveloped icosahedral
Retroviridae +ssRNA human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) enveloped
Orthomyxoviridae -ssRNA influenza virus enveloped spherical nucleus
Paramyxoviridae -ssRNA measles virus, mumps virus, parainfluenza virus, respiratory syncytial virus enveloped spherical
Papovaviridae ssDNA papillomavirus non-enveloped icosahedral
Rhabdoviridae -ssRNA rabies virus enveloped helical, bullet shaped
Togaviridae +ssRNA Rubella virus enveloped icosahedral

By type

Type Family Transmission Diseases Treatment Prevention laboratory diagnosis
adenovirus adenoviridae
  • droplet contact (mainly)
  • fecal-oral
  • venereal
  • direct contact (ocular infections)

None None

Coxsackievirus Picornaviridae fecal-oral, droplet contact Coxsackie infections None None Cell culture, antibody detection
Epstein-Barr virus Herpesviridae Saliva

None None

Hepatitis A virus Picornaviridae fecal-oral acute hepatitis Immunoglobulin (post-exposure prophylaxis)
  • Vaccine
  • immunoglobulin (post-exposure prophylaxis)
  • avoid food-contamination

antibody detection
Hepatitis B virus Hepadnaviridae
  • All body fluids (blood, semen, saliva, mother's milk etc.)

  • vaccine
  • immunoglobulin (perinatal and post-exposure prophylaxis)

  • viral antigen detection
  • antibody detection
  • nucleic acid detection

Hepatitis C virus Flaviviridae
  • blood
  • (sexual)
  • acute hepatitis
  • chronic hepatitis
  • hepatic cirrhosis
  • hepatocellular carcinoma
  • None
    • antibody detection
    • nucleic acid detection

    Herpes simplex virus, type 1 Herpesviridae direct contact with saliva and lesions


    Herpes simplex virus, type 2 Herpesviridae
    • sexually
    • birth

    cytomegalovirus Herpesviridae
    • tears
    • urine
    • semen
    • saliva
    • vaginal secretions
    • mother's milk
    • crosses placenta
    • blood

    None antibody and nucleic acid detection
    Human herpesvirus, type 8 Herpesviridae

    many in evaluation-stage None Nucleic acid and antibody detection
    HIV Retroviridae
    • sexual
    • blood
    • mother's milk


    • nucleic acid,
    • p24
    • antibody detection

    Influenza virus Orthomyxoviridae droplet contact

    measles virus Paramyxoviridae droplet contact

    None MMR vaccine antibody detection
    Mumps virus Paramyxoviridae droplet contact Mumps None MMR vaccine antibody detection
    Human papillomavirus Papovaviridae direct contact

    • Visual inspection
    • Antigen detection
    • Nucleic acid detection

    Parainfluenza virus Paramyxoviridae droplet contact

    None None Antibody detection
    Poliovirus Picornaviridae fecal-oral Poliomyelitis None Polio vaccine Antibody detection
    Rabies virus Rhabdoviridae
    • Animal bite
    • droplet contact

    Rabies Post-exposure prophylaxis Pre- and postexposure prophylaxis Histology (postmortem)
    Respiratory syncytial virus Paramyxoviridae droplet contact, hand-to-mouth

    • hand-washing
    • avoidance

    antibody and antigen detection
    Rubella virus Togaviridae droplet contact

    None MMR vaccine Antibody detection
    Varicella-zoster virus Herpesviridae droplet contact



    • Cell culture
    • antigen and nucleic acid detection

    See also


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