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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2021

Taxonomic update for mammalian anelloviruses (family Anelloviridae)

Varsani, Arvind; Opriessnig, Tanja; Celer, Vladimir; Maggi, Fabrizio; Okamoto, Hiroaki; Blomstrom, Anne-Lie; Cadar, Daniel; Harrach, Balazs; Biagini, Philippe; Kraberger, Simona


Anelloviruses are small negative-sense single-stranded DNA viruses with genomes ranging in size from 1.6 to 3.9 kb. The family Anelloviridae comprised 14 genera before the present changes. However, in the last five years, a large number of diverse anelloviruses have been identified in various organisms. Here, we undertake a global analysis of mammalian anelloviruses whose full genome sequences have been determined and have an intact open reading frame 1 (ORF1). We established new criteria for the classification of anelloviruses, and, based on our analyses, we establish new genera and species to accommodate the unclassified anelloviruses. We also note that based on the updated species demarcation criteria, some previously assigned species (n = 10) merge with other species. Given the rate at which virus sequence data are accumulating, and with the identification of diverse anelloviruses, we acknowledge that the taxonomy will have to be dynamic and continuously evolve to accommodate new members.

Published in

Archives of Virology
2021, Volume: 166, number: 10, pages: 2943-2953