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Virus classification
Group: Group II (ssDNA)
Family: Circoviridae

Circoviridae is a family of viruses.[1][2] Birds and mammals serve as natural hosts. There are currently 70 species in this family, divided among 2 genera. Diseases associated with this family include: PCV-2: postweaning multisystemic wasting syndrome; CAV: chicken infectious anemia.[3][4]


Viruses in the family Circoviridae are non-enveloped, with icosahedral and round geometries, and T=1 symmetry.[2] The diameter is around 20 nm. Genomes are circular and non-segmented, around 3.8kb in length. The capsid consists of 12 pentagonal trumpet shaped pentamers.[3] There are two main open reading frames arranged in opposite directions that encode the replication (Rep) and capsid (Cap) proteins. Alternative start codons are common in the avian species.

Genus Structure Symmetry Capsid Genomic arrangement Genomic segmentation
Cyclovirus Icosahedral T=1 Non-enveloped Circular Monopartite
Circovirus Icosahedral T=1 Non-enveloped Circular Monopartite

Life cycle[edit]

Viral replication is nuclear. Entry into the host cell is achieved by penetration into the host cell. Replication follows the ssDNA rolling circle model. DNA templated transcription, with some alternative splicing mechanism is the method of transcription. The virus exits the host cell by nuclear egress, and nuclear pore export.[2][3] A stem loop structure with a conserved nonanucleotide motif is located at the 5' intergenic region of circovirus genomes and is thought to initiate rolling-cycle replication. Birds and mammals serve as the natural host. Transmission routes are fecal-oral.[2][3]

Genus Host Tissue tropism Entry Release Replication site Assembly site Transmission
Cyclovirus Birds Chicken: Thymocytes, erythrobalstoid cells; Egg: embryonal tissues and eggshell membrane Cell receptor endocytosis Budding Nucleus Nucleus Horizontal: oral-fecal; vertical: bird to egg
Circovirus Birds; pigs None Cell receptor endocytosis Budding Nucleus Nucleus Horizontal; oral-fecal


Group: ssDNA


The family Circoviridae contains two genera—Circovirus and Cyclovirus.

Two yet-uncategorized circovirus-like viruses have been identified in fish— Barbel circovirus (BaCV) 1 and 2.[5] Their genomes are similar in length and contain two major open reading frames similar to the capsid and replication associated protein genes found in other circoviruses.


A cyclovirus—cyclovirus-Vietnam—has been isolated from the cerebrospinal fluid of 25 Vietnamese patients with CNS infections of unknown aetiology.[8] The same virus has been isolated from the faeces of healthy children and also from pigs and chickens. This suggests an orofaecal route of transmission with a possible animal reservoir.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Breitbart, Mya; Delwart, Eric; Rosario, Karyna; Segalés, Joaquim; Varsani, Arvind (2017). "ICTV Virus Taxonomy Profile: Circoviridae". Journal of General Virology. 98 (8): 1997–1998. doi:10.1099/jgv.0.000871. PMC 5656780. PMID 28786778.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "ICTV Report Circoviridae".
  3. ^ a b c d "Viral Zone". ExPASy. Retrieved 15 June 2015.
  4. ^ a b ICTV. "Virus Taxonomy: 2014 Release". Retrieved 15 June 2015.
  5. ^ Lorincz, M; Csagola, A; Farkas, S. L; Szekely, C; Tuboly, T (2011). "First detection and analysis of a fish circovirus". Journal of General Virology. 92 (8): 1817–21. doi:10.1099/vir.0.031344-0. PMID 21525210.
  6. ^ Mankertz P (2008). "Molecular Biology of Porcine Circoviruses". Animal Viruses: Molecular Biology. Caister Academic Press. ISBN 978-1-904455-22-6.[citation needed]
  7. ^ Dayaram, A; Potter, K. A; Moline, A. B; Rosenstein, D. D; Marinov, M; Thomas, J. E; Breitbart, M; Rosario, K; Arguello-Astorga, G. R; Varsani, A (2013). "High global diversity of cycloviruses amongst dragonflies". Journal of General Virology. 94 (Pt 8): 1827–40. doi:10.1099/vir.0.052654-0. PMID 23596268.
  8. ^ a b Tan, L. V; Van Doorn, H. R; Nghia, H. D. T; Chau, T. T. H; Tu, L. T. P; De Vries, M; Canuti, M; Deijs, M; Jebbink, M. F; Baker, S; Bryant, J. E; Tham, N. T; Bkrong, N. T. T. C; Boni, M. F; Loi, T. Q; Phuong, L. T; Verhoeven, J. T. P; Crusat, M; Jeeninga, R. E; Schultsz, C; Chau, N. V. V; Hien, T. T; Van Der Hoek, L; Farrar, J; De Jong, M. D (2013). "Identification of a New Cyclovirus in Cerebrospinal Fluid of Patients with Acute Central Nervous System Infections". M Bio. 4 (3): e00231–13. doi:10.1128/mBio.00231-13.

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