Mumps virus (MuV) is the type species of the genus Morbillivirus. Along with other members of the family Paramyxoviridae, MuV is an enveloped virus with a negative sense, single-stranded RNA genome. These viruses are 150-200nm in diameter with a helical nucleocapsid.
Other members of the family include human parainfluenzavirus 1 (HPIV-1; genus Respirovirus), human respiratory syncytial virus (hRSV or RSV; genus Pneumovirus), human parainfluenzavirus 2 and 4 (HPIV-2 and HPIV-4; genus Rubulavirus), measles virus
(MeV; genus Morbillivirus), Hendravirus and Nipahvirus (genus Henipavirus) and human metapneumovirus (hMPV; genus Metapneumovirus).
A distinguishing feature among genera is the possession (Paramyxovirus) or absence (e.g. Morbilliviruis and Pneumovirus) of neuraminidase (NA).
Schematic representation of the mumps virus (MuV) (-)ssRNA genome. Based on GenBank accession no. NC_001498.
- Droplets spread the infection via saliva
and secretions from the respiratory tract.
- Incubation period of 2-3 weeks
- Malaise and fever is followed within a
day by painful enlargement of one or both of the parotid
- A possible complication in males after
puberty is orchitis - painful swelling of one or
- Inflammation of the ovary and pancreas
can also occur.
- Disease is usually self-limiting
within a few days
- Aseptic meningitis (usually resolving
without problems) or postexposure encephalitis (can prove
fatal) are the most serious complications associated with
- Using a live attenuated vaccine
(single serotype) administered between one and 1.5 years.