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Annu Rev Virol. 2017 Sep 29;4(1):159-180. doi: 10.1146/annurev-virology-101416-041953. Epub 2017 Jul 17.

Viruses with Circular Single-Stranded DNA Genomes Are Everywhere!

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Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, School of Public Health, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, 69978, Israel; email:
Laboratory of Environmental Virology, Central Virology Laboratory, Sheba Medical Center Public Health Services, Israel Ministry of Health, Tel Hashomer, 52621, Israel.
Division of Avian Diseases, Kimron Veterinary Institute, Bet Dagan, 50250, Israel; email:


Circular single-stranded DNA viruses infect archaea, bacteria, and eukaryotic organisms. The relatively recent emergence of single-stranded DNA viruses, such as chicken anemia virus (CAV) and porcine circovirus 2 (PCV2), as serious pathogens of eukaryotes is due more to growing awareness than to the appearance of new pathogens or alteration of existing pathogens. In the case of the ubiquitous human circular single-stranded DNA virus family Anelloviridae, there is still no convincing direct causal relation to any specific disease. However, infections may play a role in autoimmunity by changing the homeostatic balance of proinflammatory cytokines and the human immune system, indirectly affecting the severity of diseases caused by other pathogens. Infections with CAV (family Anelloviridae, genus Gyrovirus) and PCV2 (family Circoviridae, genus Circovirus) are presented here because they are immunosuppressive and affect health in domesticated animals. CAV shares genomic organization, genomic orientation, and common features of major proteins with human anelloviruses, and PCV2 DNA may be present in human food and vaccines.


CAV; PCV; TTV; human anelloviruses; veterinary anelloviruses; veterinary circoviruses

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