Virus classification
Group: Group I (dsDNA)
Family: Marseilleviridae

Marseilleviridae is a family of double stranded DNA viruses. Amoeba serve as natural hosts. There are currently four species in this family, divided among 1 genera.[1][2] It is a member of the nucleocytoplasmic large DNA viruses clade.


Group: dsDNA


Additional species have since been recognized.[3] 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.[5]

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.[6]

A seventh virus—Brazilian Marseillevirus—has been reported.[7] This virus appears to belong to a fourth lineage of virus in this family.

Another virus—Tokyovirus—has also been reported.[8]


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.[1]

Genus Structure Symmetry Capsid Genomic Arrangement Genomic Segmentation

Life Cycle

Dna templated transcription is the method of transcription. Amoeba serve as the natural host.[1]

Genus Host Details Tissue Tropism Entry Details Release Details Replication Site Assembly Site Transmission
MarseillevirusAmoebaNoneFusionLysisCytoplasmCytoplasmDiffusion in Water


One of the first members of this family was described in 2009.[9] Other members described around then (2007) and since then have been documented.[10]


  1. 1 2 3 "Viral Zone". ExPASy. Retrieved 12 August 2015.
  2. 1 2 ICTV. "Virus Taxonomy: 2014 Release". Retrieved 12 August 2015.
  3. Colson P, Pagnier I, Yoosuf N, Fournous G, La Scola B, Raoult D (2012) "Marseilleviridae", a new family of giant viruses infecting amoebae. Arch Virol
  4. Popgeorgiev N, Boyer M, Fancello L, Monteil S, Robert C, Rivet R, Nappez C, Azza S, Chiaroni J, Raoult D, Desnues C (2013) Giant blood Marseillevirus recovered from asymptomatic blood donors. J Infect Dis
  5. Boughalmi M, Pagnier I, Aherfi S, Colson P, Raoult D, La Scola B. First isolation of a Marseillevirus in the Diptera Syrphidae Eristalis tenax. Intervirology 56(6):386–394 doi:10.1159/000354560
  6. Doutre G, Philippe N, Abergel C, Claverie JM (2014) Genome analysis of the first Marseilleviridae representative from Australia indicates that most of its genes contribute to the virus fitness. J Virol pii: JVI.02414-14
  7. Dornas FP, Assis FL, Aherfi S, Arantes T, Abrahão JS, Colson P, La Scola B (2016) A Brazilian Marseillevirus is the founding Member of a lineage in family Marseilleviridae. Viruses 8(3) pii: E76. doi: 10.3390/v8030076
  8. Takemura M (2016) Draft genome sequence of Tokyovirus, a member of the Family Marseilleviridae isolated from the Arakawa River of Tokyo, Japan. Genome Announc 9:4(3). pii: e00429–16. doi: 10.1128/genomeA.00429-16
  9. Boyer M, Yutin N, Pagnier I, Barrassi L, Fournous G, Espinosa L, Robert C, Azza S, Sun S, Rossmann MG, Suzan-Monti M, La Scola B, Koonin EV, Raoult D. (2009) Giant Marseillevirus highlights the role of amoebae as a melting pot in emergence of chimeric microorganisms. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 106:21848–21853. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0911354106. PubMed PMID 20007369
  10. Aherfi S, La Scola B, Pagnier I, Raoult D, Colson P. (2014) The expanding family Marseilleviridae. Virology. pii: S0042-6822(14)00320-00321. doi:10.1016/j.virol.2014.07.014. PubMed PMID 25104553
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