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Discovery of parvovirus-related sequences in an unexpected broad range of animals

François S., Filloux D., Roumagnac P., Bigot D., Gayral P., Martin D.P., Froissart R., Ogliastro M.. 2016. Scientific Reports, 6 (30880) : 13 p..

DOI: 10.1038/srep30880

Our knowledge of the genetic diversity and host ranges of viruses is fragmentary. This is particularly true for the Parvoviridae family. Genetic diversity studies of single stranded DNA viruses within this family have been largely focused on arthropod- and vertebrate-infecting species that cause diseases of humans and our domesticated animals: a focus that has biased our perception of parvovirus diversity. While metagenomics approaches could help rectify this bias, so too could transcriptomics studies. Large amounts of transcriptomic data are available for a diverse array of animal species and whenever this data has inadvertently been gathered from virus-infected individuals, it could contain detectable viral transcripts. We therefore performed a systematic search for parvovirus-related sequences (PRSs) within publicly available transcript, genome and protein databases and eleven new transcriptome datasets. This revealed 463 PRSs in the transcript databases of 118 animals. At least 41 of these PRSs are likely integrated within animal genomes in that they were also found within genomic sequence databases. Besides illuminating the ubiquity of parvoviruses, the number of parvoviral sequences discovered within public databases revealed numerous previously unknown parvovirus-host combinations; particularly in invertebrates. Our findings suggest that the host-ranges of extant parvoviruses might span the entire animal kingdom.

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