An ancient lineage of highly divergent parvoviruses infects both vertebrate and invertebrate hosts

Judit J. Pénzes, William Marciel de Souza, Mavis Agbandje-Mckenna, Robert J. Gifford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Chapparvoviruses (ChPVs) comprise a divergent, recently identified group of parvoviruses (family Parvoviridae), associated with nephropathy in immunocompromised laboratory mice and with prevalence in deep sequencing results of livestock showing diarrhea. Here, we investigate the biological and evolutionary characteristics of ChPVs via comparative in silico analyses, incorporating sequences derived from endogenous parvoviral elements (EPVs) as well as exogenous parvoviruses. We show that ChPVs are an ancient lineage within the Parvoviridae, clustering separately from members of both currently established subfamilies. Consistent with this, they exhibit a number of characteristic features, including several putative auxiliary protein-encoding genes, and capsid proteins with no sequence-level homology to those of other parvoviruses. Homology modeling indicates the absence of a β-A strand, normally part of the luminal side of the parvoviral capsid protein core. Our findings demonstrate that the ChPV lineage infects an exceptionally broad range of host species, including both vertebrates and invertebrates. Furthermore, we observe that ChPVs found in fish are more closely related to those from invertebrates than they are to those of amniote vertebrates. This suggests that transmission between distantly related host species may have occurred in the past and that the Parvoviridae family can no longer be divided based on host affiliation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number525
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Chapparvovirus
  • Densovirus
  • Endogenous viral elements
  • Homology modeling
  • New viruses
  • Parvoviridae
  • Parvovirus evolution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology


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