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Virus classification
Group II (ssDNA)
Type Species

Gyrovirus is a genus of viruses, in the family Anelloviridae. Until 2011, chicken anemia virus was the only Gyrovirus identified, but since then gyroviruses have also been identified in humans. Diseases associated with this genus include: chicken infectious anemia, which is associated with depletion of cortical thymocytes and erythroblastoid cells.[1][2]


Group: ssDNA



Gyroviruses have an average size of 19 to 27 nanometers. They are nonenveloped and have an icosahedral capsid with T=1 symmetry. The unique, single protein, trumpet-shaped capsomeres of Gyrovirus are arranged into 12 pentomers yielding a capsid 60 units in size. The genome is circular, non-segmented, and 2290–2320 nucleotides long.[2][3][4]

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


Alignment of the nucleotide sequences of the human gyrovirus genome on the basis of a 138-bp segment (nt 1328–1465) of the viral protein 1 gene. The sequences of the isolate from France (FR823283) and of the 6 isolates found in this study are shown. Nucleotide positions are according to isolate FR823283 (1). Hyphens indicate identity with the prototype sequence of isolate FR823283 (1).

The Gyrovirus genome consists of negative sense, single-stranded, circular, DNA. The genome is relatively small at 2,300 nucleotides. and contains three overlapping open reading frames that code for only three known proteins.[5]


The Gyrovirus genome codes for a single polysistronic mRNA that subsequently codes for three proteins, VP1, VP2, and VP3. VP1 is the 51kd capsid protein; in addition to its structural function, it also contains motifs for rolling circle replication in the C-terminal region. VP2 is a 23kd nonstructural protein with phosphatase activity. Virions with mutations in SP2 are still replication competent; however, their cytopathic effects were highly attenuated.[6] VP3, also called apoptin, is a 13kd protein that has been shown to independently induce apoptosis in chicken cells. Apoptin is also being researched for its ability to induce apoptosis in human tumor cells.[7][8]

Replication strategy[edit]

Viral replication is nuclear. Entry into the host cell is achieved by penetration into the host cell.[1] Upon entering the host cell, the virus converts from single stranded to double stranded, circular DNA using host cell machinery. The circular dsDNA is then used as a template for transcription and for replication via a rolling circle mechanism similar to phiX174.[9] 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. Birds serve as the natural host. Transmission routes are fecal-oral, parental, egg transmission, and respiratory.[1]

Genus Host details Tissue tropism Entry details Release details Replication site Assembly site Transmission
Gyrovirus Birds Chicken: Thymocytes, erythrobalstoid cells; Egg: embryonal tissues and eggshell membrane Cell receptor endocytosis Budding Nucleus Nucleus Horizontal: oral-fecal; vertical: bird to egg

Chicken anemia virus[edit]

Chicken anemia virus (CAV) was, until 2011, the only member of Gyrovirus genus identified.[10] It causes disease worldwide in areas where chickens are produced. CAV causes severe anemia, hemorrhaging, and depletion of lymphoid tissue through the destruction of bone marrow erythroblastoid cells.[5] The disease affects mainly young chicks not protected by maternal antibodies. Age resistance to disease begins at about one week, but can be overcome however by coinfection with immunosuppressive diseases, such as bursal disease virus, Marek’s disease, and others.[11]

A second virus in this genus—Avian gyrovirus 2—has been described.[12] The viral genome shares ~40% of its sequence with Chicken anemia virus (CAV). The genome is 2383 nucleotides long and has three partially overlapping open reading frames encoding the proteins VP1, VP2 and VP3. These proteins share 38.8%, 40.3%, and 32.2% amino acid identities between their homologs in the CAV.

Two species have been described from humans—human gyrovirus and human gyrovirus 3.[13][14][15] Human gyrovirus 1 appears to be the same virus as avian gyrovirus 2. A fourth gyrovirus—gyrovirus 4 (GyV4)—has been isolated from human stool and chicken meat.[16]


  1. ^ a b c "Viral Zone". ExPASy. Retrieved 15 June 2015.
  2. ^ a b c ICTV. "Virus Taxonomy: 2014 Release". Retrieved 15 June 2015.
  3. ^ Crowther, R. A., et al. “Comparison of the structures of three circoviruses: Chicken anemia virus, porcine circovirus type 2, and beak and feather disease virus.” Journal of Virology, v. 77 issue 24, 2003, p. 13036–13041.
  4. ^ ICTVdB Management (2006). Gyrovirus. In: ICTVdB—The Universal Virus Database, version 4. Büchen-Osmond, C. (Ed), Columbia University, New York, USA.
  5. ^ a b Noteborn M.H.M., et al. “Characterization of Cloned Chicken Anemia Virus DNA That Contains All Elements For The Infectious Replication Cycle.” Journal of Virology, v. 65 issue 6, 1991, p. 3131–3139.
  6. ^ Peters, Michelle A.; Crabb, Brendan S.; Tivendale, Kelly A.; Browning, Glenn F. “Attenuation of chicken anemia virus by site-directed mutagenesis of VP2.” Journal of General Virology, v. 88 issue Part 8, 2007, p. 2168–2175.
  7. ^ Noteborn, M. H. M., et al. “A single chicken anemia virus protein induces apoptosis.” Journal of Virology, v. 68 issue 1, 1994, p. 346–351.
  8. ^ Heckl, Stefan, et al. “Value of apoptin's 40-amino-acid C-terminal fragment for the differentiation between human tumor and non-tumor cells.” Apoptosis, v. 13 issue 4, 2008, p. 495–508.
  9. ^ Noteborn, Mathieu H. M.; Koch, Guus. “Chicken anaemia virus infection: Molecular basis of pathogenicity.” Avian Pathology, v. 24 issue 1, 1995, p. 11–31.
  10. ^ Phan, T. G.; Li, L.; O'Ryan, M. G.; Cortes, H.; Mamani, N.; Bonkoungou, I. J. O.; Wang, C.; Leutenegger, C. M.; Delwart, E. (14 March 2012). "A third gyrovirus species in human faeces". Journal of General Virology. 93 (Pt_6): 1356–1361. doi:10.1099/vir.0.041731-0. PMC 3755516.
  11. ^ Merck Veterinary Manual (online) Accessed 4/20/2009 Chicken Anemia Virus Infection: Introduction
  12. ^ Rijsewijk FA, Dos Santos HF, Teixeira TF, Cibulski SP, Varela AP, Dezen D, Franco AC, Roehe PM (2011) Discovery of a genome of a distant relative of chicken anemia virus reveals a new member of the genus Gyrovirus. Arch Virol.
  13. ^ Sauvage V, Cheval J, Foulongne V, Gouilh MA, Pariente K, Manuguerra JC, Richardson J, Dereure O, Lecuit M, Burguiere A, Caro V, Eloit M (2011) Identification of the first human gyrovirus, a virus related to chicken anemia virus. J Virol 85(15):7948–7950
  14. ^ Maggi F, Macera L, Focosi D, Vatteroni ML, Boggi U, Antonelli G, Eloit M, Pistello M (2012) Human gyrovirus DNA in human blood, Italy. Emerg Infect Dis 18(6):956–9. doi: 10.3201/eid1806.120179.
  15. ^ Phan TG, Li L, O'Ryan MG, Cortes H, Mamani N, Bonkoungou IJ, Wang C, Leutenegger CM, Delwart E (2012) A third gyrovirus species in human faeces. J Gen Virol 93(6):1356–1361.
  16. ^ Chu DK, Poon LL, Chiu SS, Chan KH, Ng EM, Bauer I, Cheung TK, Ng IH, Guan Y, Wang D, Peiris JS (2012) Characterization of a novel gyrovirus in human stool and chicken meat. J Clin Virol 55(3):209–213 doi: 10.1016/j.jcv.2012.07.001

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