Medical Definition of B virus

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Reviewed on 12/11/2018

B virus: An infectious agent commonly found among macaque monkeys, including rhesus macaques, pig-tailed macaques, and cynomolgus monkeys. Monkeys infected with this virus usually have no or mild symptoms. In humans, however, B virus infection can result in a fatal encephalomyelitis. B virus disease in humans is extremely rare, but often fatal -- an estimated 80% of untreated patients die of complications associated with the infection.

Persons at greatest risk for B virus infection include veterinarians, laboratory workers, and others who have close contact with Old World macaques or monkey cell cultures. Infection is typically caused by animal bites, scratches, or exposure to the tissues or secretions of macaques. The virus is also known as Cercopithecine herpesvirus 1.

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Reviewed on 12/11/2018