Identification of novel anelloviruses with broad diversity in UK rodents.
Nishiyama S., Dutia BM., Stewart JP., Meredith AL., Shaw DJ., Simmonds P., Sharp CP.
Anelloviruses are a family of small circular ssDNA viruses with a vast genetic diversity. Human infections with the prototype anellovirus, torque teno virus (TTV), are ubiquitous and related viruses have been described in a number of other mammalian hosts. Despite over 15 years of investigation, there is still little known about the pathogenesis and possible disease associations of anellovirus infections, arising in part due to the lack of a robust cell culture system for viral replication or tractable small-animal model. We report the identification of diverse anelloviruses in several species of wild rodents. The viruses are highly prevalent in wood mice (Apodemus sylvaticus) and field voles (Microtus agrestis), detectable at a low frequency in bank voles (Myodes glareolus), but absent from house mice (Mus musculus). The viruses identified have a genomic organization consistent with other anelloviruses, but form two clear phylogenetic groups that are as distinct from each other as from defined genera.