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Virus classification Edit this classification
(unranked): Virus
Realm: Duplodnaviria
Kingdom: Heunggongvirae
Phylum: Peploviricota
Class: Herviviricetes
Order: Herpesvirales
Family: Malacoherpesviridae

See text

Malacoherpesviridae is a family of DNA viruses in the order Herpesvirales. Molluscs serve as natural hosts, making members of this family the only known herpesviruses to infect invertebrates. There are currently only two species recognised in this family, both classified into separate genera. Disease associated with this family includes sporadic episodes of high mortality among larvae and juveniles.[1][2][3] The family name Malacoherpesviridae is derived from Greek word 'μαλακός (malacos) meaning 'soft' and from Greek word 'μαλάκιον (malakion) meaning 'mollusc'.[3]


  • Ostreavirus Davison et al., 2009[3]
    • Ostreid herpesvirus 1 Davison et al., 2009 – acronym: OsHV-1, common name: oyster herpesvirus, its host are bivalves (oysters) and the octopus species Octopus vulgaris.[3][4]
  • Aurivirus Savin et al., 2010,[5] syn. Haliotivirus
    • Haliotid herpesvirus 1 Savin et al., 2010 – acronym: HaHV-1 or AbHV-1 (Corbeil et al., 2017, J Inv Pathol, 146:31-35), common name: abalone herpesvirus, its hosts are abalone sea snails, i.e. Haliotis spp. such as Haliotis diversicolor.[5]

Acute viral necrosis virus, which affects scallops such as Chlamys farreri, appears to be a variant of Ostreid herpesvirus 1.[6]


Viruses in Malacoherpesviridae are enveloped, with icosahedral and spherical to pleomorphic geometries, and T=16 symmetry. The diameter is around 150-200 nm. Genomes are linear and non-segmented, around 134kb in length.[1]

Genus Structure Symmetry Capsid Genomic arrangement Genomic segmentation
Aurivirus Spherical pleomorphic T=16 Enveloped Linear Monopartite
Ostreavirus Spherical pleomorphic T=16 Enveloped Linear Monopartite

Life cycle[edit]

Viral replication is nuclear, and is lysogenic. Entry into the host cell is achieved by attachment of the viral glycoproteins to host receptors, which mediates endocytosis. DNA templated transcription is the method of transcription. Molluscs serve as the natural host.[1] Malacoherpesviridae may have the ability to infect across species, a feature not typically observed in vertebrate herpesviruses. This ability appears to be restricted to related mollusc species.[5]

Genus Host details Tissue tropism Entry details Release details Replication site Assembly site Transmission
Aurivirus Haliotidae molluscs B-lymphocytes Glycoprotiens Budding Nucleus Nucleus Sex; saliva
Ostreavirus Molluscs B-lymphocytes Glycoprotiens Budding Nucleus Nucleus Sex; saliva


This article incorporates CC-BY-2.0 text from the reference [5]

  1. ^ a b c "Viral Zone". ExPASy. Retrieved 15 June 2015.
  2. ^ ICTV. "Virus Taxonomy: 2014 Release". Retrieved 15 June 2015.
  3. ^ a b c d Davison AJ, Eberle R, Ehlers B, Hayward GS, McGeoch DJ, Minson AC, et al. (2008). "The order Herpesvirales". Archives of Virology. 154 (1): 171–177. doi:10.1007/s00705-008-0278-4. PMC 3552636. PMID 19066710.
  4. ^ Prado-Alvarez M, García-Fernández P, Faury N, Azevedo C, Morga B, Gestal C (July 2021). "First detection of OsHV-1 in the cephalopod Octopus vulgaris. Is the octopus a dead-end for OsHV-1?". Journal of Invertebrate Pathology. 183: 107553. doi:10.1016/j.jip.2021.107553. hdl:10261/239819. PMID 33596434.
  5. ^ a b c d Savin KW, Cocks BG, Wong F, Sawbridge T, Cogan N, Savage D, Warner S (November 2010). "A neurotropic herpesvirus infecting the gastropod, abalone, shares ancestry with oyster herpesvirus and a herpesvirus associated with the amphioxus genome". Virology Journal. 7: 308. doi:10.1186/1743-422X-7-308. PMC 2994540. PMID 21062506.
  6. ^ ]Ren W, Chen H, Renault T, Cai Y, Bai C, Wang C, Huang J (April 2013). "Complete genome sequence of acute viral necrosis virus associated with massive mortality outbreaks in the Chinese scallop, Chlamys farreri". Virology Journal. 10: 110. doi:10.1186/1743-422X-10-110. PMC 3623871. PMID 23566284.

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