Insights into circovirus host range from the genomic fossil record

Dennis, T. P.W., Flynn, P. J., Souza, W. M. d., Singer, J. B., Moreau, C. S., Wilson, S. J. and Gifford, R. J. (2018) Insights into circovirus host range from the genomic fossil record. Journal of Virology, (doi:10.1128/JVI.00145-18) (PMID:29875243) (Early Online Publication)

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Abstract

A diverse range of DNA sequences derived from circoviruses (family Circoviridae) have been identified in samples obtained from humans and domestic animals, often in association with pathological conditions. In the majority of cases, however, little is known about the natural biology of the viruses from which these sequences are derived. Endogenous circoviral elements (CVe) are DNA sequences derived from circoviruses that occur in animal genomes and provide a useful source of information about circovirus-host relationships. In this study we screened genome assemblies of 675 animal species and identified numerous circovirus-related sequences, including the first examples of CVe derived from cycloviruses. We confirmed the presence of these CVe in the germline of the elongate twig ant (Pseudomyrmex gracilis), thereby establishing that cycloviruses infect insects. We examined the evolutionary relationships between CVe and contemporary circoviruses, showing that CVe from ants and mites group relatively closely with cycloviruses in phylogenies. Furthermore, the relatively random interspersal of CVe from insect genomes with cyclovirus sequences recovered from vertebrate samples, suggested that contamination might be an important consideration in studies reporting these viruses. Our study demonstrates how endogenous viral sequences can inform metagenomics-based virus discovery. In addition, it raises doubts about the role of cycloviruses as pathogens of humans and other vertebrates.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:TPWD, JBS, SJW, and RJG were supported by a grant from the UK Medical Research Council (No. MC_UU_12014/10). WMS was supported by the Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo, Brazil (Scholarships No. 12/24150 - 9; 15/05778 - 5; 17/13981 - 0). C SM a nd PJF were supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF DEB 1442316).
Status:Early Online Publication
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Gifford, Dr Robert and Souza, Mr William and Dennis, Tristan and Wilson, Dr Sam and Singer, Dr Joshua
Authors: Dennis, T. P.W., Flynn, P. J., Souza, W. M. d., Singer, J. B., Moreau, C. S., Wilson, S. J., and Gifford, R. J.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Infection Immunity and Inflammation
Journal Name:Journal of Virology
Publisher:American Society for Microbiology
ISSN:0022-538X
ISSN (Online):1098-5514
Published Online:06 June 2018
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2018 Dennis et al.
First Published:First published in Journal of Virology 2018
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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