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Virus classification Edit this classification
(unranked): Virus
Realm: Varidnaviria
Kingdom: Bamfordvirae
Phylum: Nucleocytoviricota
Class: Megaviricetes
Order: Pimascovirales
Family: Marseilleviridae
The typical form of the virions of the Marseilleviridae is, in principle, similar to that of the Mimiviridae.

Marseilleviridae is a family of viruses first named in 2012.[1] The genomes of these viruses are double-stranded DNA. Amoeba are often hosts, but there is evidence that they are found in humans as well.[2][3][4][5] The family contains one genus and four species, two of which are unassigned to a genus.[6][7] It is a member of the nucleocytoplasmic large DNA viruses clade.


The genus contains the following genera and species:[7]

Related Viruses[edit]

Images of cryo-frozen Marseilleviridae particles (left and center) and enlarged diagram of structure near a vertex. Black arrows indicate Large Dense Bodies. White arrows indicate lipid bilayer.

Additional species have since been recognized.[1] The first member of this family recognized has been named Acanthamoeba polyphaga marseillevirus. A second member is Acanthamoeba castellanii lausannevirus. Two additional viruses have been isolated but have yet to be named. Another member of this family has been isolated from blood donors.[4] An isolate from insects—Insectomime virus—has also been reported.[8]

The viruses appear to fall into at least 3 lineages: (1) Marseillevirus and Cannes8virus (2) Insectomime and Tunisvirus and (3) Lausannevirus. A sixth potential member of this family—Melbournevirus—appears to be related to the Marseillevirus/Cannes8virus clade.[9]

A seventh virus—Brazilian Marseillevirus—has been reported.[10] This virus appears to belong to a fourth lineage of virus in this family.

Another virus—Tokyovirus—has also been reported.[11]

Another member of this family is Kurlavirus.[12]

In 2017, it was proposed that the family contained the following five lineages:[13]

Lineage A

Lineage B

Lineage C

Lineage D

Lineage E

Another putative member of this family is Marseillevirus shanghai. If this virus is confirmed, it would belong to the A lineage.


Viruses in Marseilleviridae have icosahedral geometries. The diameter is around 250 nm. Genomes are circular, around 372kb in length. The genome has 457 open reading frames.[6]

Genus Structure Symmetry Capsid Genomic arrangement Genomic segmentation
Unassigned Head-Tail T=16 Non-enveloped Linear Monopartite
Marseillevirus Icosahedral Circular

Life cycle[edit]

DNA-templated transcription is the method of transcription. Amoeba serve as the natural host.[6]

Genus Host details Tissue tropism Entry details Release details Replication site Assembly site Transmission
Marseillevirus Amoeba None Fusion Lysis Cytoplasm Cytoplasm Diffusion in Water


A promoter sequence—AAATATTT—has been found associated with 55% of the identified genes in this virus.[14] Most of these sequences occur in multiple copies.[citation needed]


One of the first members of this family was described in 2009.[15] Other members described around then (2007) and since then have been documented.[16]


  1. ^ a b Colson, Philippe; Pagnier, Isabelle; Yoosuf, Niyaz; Fournous, Ghislain; La Scola, Bernard; Raoult, Didier (2012). "'Marseilleviridae', a new family of giant viruses infecting amoebae". Archives of Virology. 158 (4): 915–20. doi:10.1007/s00705-012-1537-y. PMID 23188494.
  2. ^ La Scola, Bernard (2014). "Looking at protists as a source of pathogenic viruses". Microbial Pathogenesis. 77: 131–5. doi:10.1016/j.micpath.2014.09.005. PMID 25218687.
  3. ^ Colson, Philippe; Fancello, Laura; Gimenez, Gregory; Armougom, Fabrice; Desnues, Christelle; Fournous, Ghislain; Yoosuf, Niyaz; Million, Matthieu; La Scola, Bernard; Raoult, Didier (2013). "Evidence of the megavirome in humans". Journal of Clinical Virology. 57 (3): 191–200. doi:10.1016/j.jcv.2013.03.018. PMID 23664726.
  4. ^ a b Popgeorgiev, Nikolay; Boyer, Mickaël; Fancello, Laura; Monteil, Sonia; Robert, Catherine; Rivet, Romain; Nappez, Claude; Azza, Said; Chiaroni, Jacques; Raoult, Didier; Desnues, Christelle (2013). "Marseillevirus-Like Virus Recovered from Blood Donated by Asymptomatic Humans". The Journal of Infectious Diseases. 208 (7): 1042–50. doi:10.1093/infdis/jit292. PMID 23821720.
  5. ^ Aherfi, Sarah; Colson, Philippe; Audoly, Gilles; Nappez, Claude; Xerri, Luc; Valensi, Audrey; Million, Matthieu; Lepidi, Hubert; Costello, Regis; Raoult, Didier (2016). "Marseillevirus in lymphoma: A giant in the lymph node". The Lancet Infectious Diseases. 16 (10): e225–e234. doi:10.1016/S1473-3099(16)30051-2. PMID 27502174.
  6. ^ a b c "Viral Zone". ExPASy. Retrieved 12 August 2015.
  7. ^ a b "Virus Taxonomy: 2020 Release". International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV). March 2021. Retrieved 22 May 2021.
  8. ^ Boughalmi, Mondher; Pagnier, Isabelle; Aherfi, Sarah; Colson, Philippe; Raoult, Didier; La Scola, Bernard (2013). "First Isolation of a Marseillevirus in the Diptera Syrphidae Eristalis tenax". Intervirology. 56 (6): 386–94. doi:10.1159/000354560. PMID 24157885.
  9. ^ Doutre, G; Philippe, N; Abergel, C; Claverie, J.-M (2014). "Genome Analysis of the First Marseilleviridae Representative from Australia Indicates that Most of Its Genes Contribute to Virus Fitness". Journal of Virology. 88 (24): 14340–9. doi:10.1128/JVI.02414-14. PMC 4249118. PMID 25275139.
  10. ^ Dornas, Fábio; Assis, Felipe; Aherfi, Sarah; Arantes, Thalita; Abrahão, Jônatas; Colson, Philippe; La Scola, Bernard (2016). "A Brazilian Marseillevirus is the Founding Member of a Lineage in Family Marseilleviridae". Viruses. 8 (3): 76. doi:10.3390/v8030076. PMC 4810266. PMID 26978387.
  11. ^ Takemura, Masaharu (2016). "Draft Genome Sequence of Tokyovirus, a Member of the Family Marseilleviridae Isolated from the Arakawa River of Tokyo, Japan". Genome Announcements. 4 (3): e00429–16. doi:10.1128/genomeA.00429-16. PMC 4901213. PMID 27284144.
  12. ^ Chatterjee, Anirvan; Kondabagil, Kiran (2017). "Complete genome sequence of Kurlavirus, a novel member of the family Marseilleviridae isolated in Mumbai, India". Archives of Virology. 162 (10): 3243–3245. doi:10.1007/s00705-017-3469-z. PMID 28685284. S2CID 3984074.
  13. ^ Fabre E, Jeudy S, Santini S, Legendre M, Trauchessec M, Claverie J-M, et al (2017). Noumeavirus replication relies on a transient remote control of the host nucleus. Nat Commun 8:15087
  14. ^ Oliveira, Graziele Pereira; Lima, Maurício Teixeira; Arantes, Thalita Souza; Assis, Felipe Lopes; Rodrigues, Rodrigo Araújo Lima; Da Fonseca, Flávio Guimarães; Bonjardim, Cláudio Antônio; Kroon, Erna Geessien; Colson, Philippe; La Scola, Bernard; Abrahão, Jônatas Santos (2017). "The Investigation of Promoter Sequences of Marseilleviruses Highlights a Remarkable Abundance of the AAATATTT Motif in Intergenic Regions". Journal of Virology. 91 (21): e01088–17. doi:10.1128/JVI.01088-17. PMC 5640848. PMID 28794030.
  15. ^ Boyer, M; Yutin, N; Pagnier, I; Barrassi, L; Fournous, G; Espinosa, L; Robert, C; Azza, S; Sun, S; Rossmann, M. G; Suzan-Monti, M; La Scola, B; Koonin, E. V; Raoult, D (2009). "Giant Marseillevirus highlights the role of amoebae as a melting pot in emergence of chimeric microorganisms". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 106 (51): 21848–53. Bibcode:2009PNAS..10621848B. doi:10.1073/pnas.0911354106. PMC 2799887. PMID 20007369.
  16. ^ Aherfi, Sarah; La Scola, Bernard; Pagnier, Isabelle; Raoult, Didier; Colson, Philippe (2014). "The expanding family Marseilleviridae". Virology. 466–467: 27–37. doi:10.1016/j.virol.2014.07.014. PMID 25104553.

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