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

Mimiviridae is a family of viruses. Amoeba and other protists serve as natural hosts. The family is divided in 3 subfamilies.[1][2][3] Viruses in this family belong to the nucleocytoplasmic large DNA virus clade (NCLDV).


The first member of this family—the Mimivirus—was discovered in 2003.[4]


Group: dsDNA

The genus is currently divided into three subfamilies.[2][3][5] One subfamily (Mimivirus) is divided into three "lineages": A (includes Acanthamoeba polyphaga Mimivirus, Samba virus), B (includes Moumouvirus) and C (includes Courdo7, Courdo 11, LBA111, Megavirus chilensis and Terra1).[6] The majority of Mimiviridaes appear to be Mimiviruses.[5] The second subfamily (Cafeteriavirus) includes the Cafeteria roenbergensis virus.[7] The Klosneuvirinae have been proposed as a third subfamily and are divided into four "lineages": Klosneuvirus, Indivirus, Catovirus and Hokovirus.[3]

Although only a couple of members of this family have been described in detail it seems likely there are many more awaiting description and assignment.[8][9]


Viruses in Mimiviridae have icosahedral and round geometries, with between T=972 and T=1141, or T=1200 symmetry. The diameter is around 400 nm, with a length of 125 nm. Genomes are linear and non-segmented, around 1200kb in length. The genome has 911 open reading frames.[1]

Genus Structure Symmetry Capsid Genomic arrangement Genomic segmentation
Mimivirus Icosahedral T=972-1141 or T=1200 (H=19 +/- 1, K=19 +/- 1) Linear Monopartite
Cafeteriavirus Icosahedral Linear Monopartite

Life cycle[edit]

Replication follows the DNA strand displacement model. DNA-templated transcription is the method of transcription. Amoeba serve as the natural host.[1]

Genus Host details Tissue tropism Entry details Release details Replication site Assembly site Transmission
Mimivirus Zooplankton None Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Passive diffusion
Klosneuvirus Unknown None Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown
Cafeteriavirus Amoeba None Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Passive diffusion

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. Broad spectrum of mimiviridae virophage allows its isolation using a mimivirus reporter.[6]


Mimiviruses have been associated with pneumonia but their significance if any is currently unknown.[10] The only virus of this family isolated from a human to date is LBA 111.[11] Mimivirus has also been implicated in rheumatoid arthritis.[12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Viral Zone". ExPASy. Retrieved 15 June 2015. 
  2. ^ a b ICTV. "Virus Taxonomy: 2014 Release". Retrieved 15 June 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c Schulz, Frederik; Yutin, Natalya; Ivanova, Natalia N.; Ortega, Davi R.; Lee, Tae Kwon; Vierheilig, Julia; Daims, Holger; Horn, Matthias; Wagner, Michael (2017-04-07). "Giant viruses with an expanded complement of translation system components". Science. 356 (6333): 82–85. ISSN 0036-8075. doi:10.1126/science.aal4657. 
  4. ^ Suzan-Monti M, La Scola B, Raoult D (2006) Genomic and evolutionary aspects of Mimivirus. Virus Res 117(1):145-155
  5. ^ a b 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
  6. ^ a b Gaia M, Pagnier I, Campocasso A, Fournous G, Raoult D, La Scola B (2013) PLoS One 8(4):e61912. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0061912
  7. ^ Matthias G. Fischer; Michael J. Allen; William H. Wilson; Curtis A. Suttle (2010). "Giant virus with a remarkable complement of genes infects marine zooplankton". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 107 (45): 19508–19513. Bibcode:2010PNAS..10719508F. PMC 2984142Freely accessible. PMID 20974979. doi:10.1073/pnas.1007615107. 
  8. ^ Ghedin E, Claverie JM (2005) Mimivirus relatives in the Sargasso sea. Virol J. 2:62
  9. ^ Monier A, Claverie JM, Ogata H (2008) Taxonomic distribution of large DNA viruses in the sea. Genome Biol. 9(7):R106.
  10. ^ 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
  11. ^ 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
  12. ^ 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. PMC 3911627Freely accessible. PMID 24173233. doi:10.1128/JVI.03141-13. 

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