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Virus classification
Group: Group I (dsDNA)
Family: Mimiviridae

Cafeteria roenbergensis virus
Lentille virus
Terravirus 1
Terravirus 2

Mimiviridae is a family of double stranded DNA viruses. Viruses in this family belong to the nucleocytoplasmic large DNA virus clade (NCLDV), a group which includes members of families Asfarviridae, Iridoviridae, Phycodnaviridae and Poxviridae and the genus Dinodnavirus.


The first member of this family—the Mimivirus—was discovered in 2003.[1]


Although only a few members of this family have been described in detail it seems likely there are many more awaiting description.[2][3] These include Chrysochromulina ericina virus 01, Phaeocystis pouchetii virus 01 and Pyramimonas orientalis virus 01. While these later viruses have been isolated they have yet to be fully characterized.

The genus is currently divided into three clades.[4] One clade is divided into three groups group A (includes Acanthamoeba polyphaga Mimivirus), group B (includes Moumouvirus) and group C (includes Megavirus chilensis, Courdo7, Courdo 11 and Terra1).[5] The second clade includes the Cafeteria roenbergensis virus. There are at least 17 members of this family.

Molecular biology[edit]

Within the genome of Lentille virus integrated genome of a virophage (Sputnik 2) and a transpoviron—a mobile genetic element—have been reported. Transpovirons are linear DNA elements of about 7 kilobases that encompass six to eight protein coding genes, two of which are homologous to virophage genes.


Mimiviruses have been associated with pneumonia but their significance if any is currently unknown.[6] The only virus of this family isolated from a human to date is LBA 111.[7] Mimivirus has also been implicated in rheumatoid arthritis.[8]


  1. ^ Suzan-Monti M, La Scola B, Raoult D (2006) Genomic and evolutionary aspects of Mimivirus. Virus Res 117(1):145-155
  2. ^ Ghedin E, Claverie JM (2005) Mimivirus relatives in the Sargasso sea. Virol J. 2:62
  3. ^ Monier A, Claverie JM, Ogata H (2008) Taxonomic distribution of large DNA viruses in the sea. Genome Biol. 9(7):R106.
  4. ^ Colson P, Fournous G, Diene SM, Raoult D (2013) Codon usage, amino acid usage, transfer RNA and amino-acyl-tRNA synthetases in mimiviruses. Intervirology 56(6):364-375. doi: 10.1159/000354557
  5. ^ Gaia M, Pagnier I, Campocasso A, Fournous G, Raoult D, La Scola B (2013) Broad spectrum of mimiviridae virophage allows its isolation using a mimivirus reporter. PLoS One 8(4):e61912. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0061912
  6. ^ Saadi H, Pagnier I, Colson P, Cherif JK, Beji M, Boughalmi M, Azza S, Armstrong N, Robert C, Fournous G, La Scola B, Raoult D (2013) First isolation of Mimivirus in a patient with pneumonia. Clin Infect Dis
  7. ^ Yoosuf N, Pagnier I, Fournous G, Robert C, La Scola B, Raoult D, Colson P (2013) Complete genome sequence of Courdo11 virus, a member of the family Mimiviridae. Virus Genes
  8. ^ Shah, N.; Hulsmeier, A. J.; Hochhold, N.; Neidhart, M.; Gay, S.; Hennet, T. (2013). "Exposure to Mimivirus Collagen Promotes Arthritis". Journal of Virology 88 (2): 838–45. doi:10.1128/JVI.03141-13. PMC 3911627. PMID 24173233.  edit

See also[edit]