Parainfluenza virus type 5 (PIV-5) morphology revealed by cryo-electron microscopy

Virus Res. 2009 Jun;142(1-2):200-3. doi: 10.1016/j.virusres.2008.12.017. Epub 2009 Jan 29.


The knowledge of parainfluenza type 5 (PIV-5) virion morphology is essentially based on the observation of negatively stained preparations in conventional transmission electron microscopy (CTEM). In this study, the ultrastructure of frozen-hydrated intact PIV-5 was examined by cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM). Cryo-EM revealed a majority of spherical virions (70%), with a lower pleiomorphy than originally observed in CTEM. Phospholipid bilayer thickness, spike length and glycoprotein spikes density were measured. About 2000 glycoprotein spikes were present in an average-sized spherical virion. Altogether, these data depict a more precise view of PIV-5 morphology.

MeSH terms

  • Cryoelectron Microscopy
  • Paramyxovirinae / chemistry
  • Paramyxovirinae / ultrastructure*
  • Particle Size
  • Viral Envelope Proteins / ultrastructure
  • Virion / chemistry
  • Virion / ultrastructure*


  • Viral Envelope Proteins