Parvoviruses are a family of animal viruses that constitute the family Parvoviridae. They have linear, single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) genomes that typically contain two genes encoding for a replication initiator protein, called NS1, and the protein the viral capsid is made of. The coding portion of the genome is flanked by telomeres at each end that form into hairpin loops that are important during replication. Parvovirus virions are small compared to most viruses, at 23–28 nanometers in diameter, and contain the genome enclosed in an icosahedral capsid that has a rugged surface.

Parvoviruses enter a host cell by endocytosis, travelling to the nucleus where they wait until the cell enters its replication stage. At that point, the genome is uncoated and the coding portion is replicated. Viral messenger RNA (mRNA) is then transcribed and translated, resulting in NS1 initiating replication. During replication, the hairpins repeatedly unfold, are replicated, and refold to change the direction of replication to progress back and forth along the genome in a process called rolling hairpin replication that produces a molecule containing numerous copies of the genome. Progeny ssDNA genomes are excised from this concatemer and packaged into capsids. Mature virions leave the cell by exocytosis or lysis.

Parvoviruses are believed to be descended from ssDNA viruses that have circular genomes that form a loop because these viruses encode a replication initiator protein that is related to NS1 and have a similar replication mechanism. Another group of viruses called bidnaviruses appear to be descended from parvoviruses. Within the family, three subfamilies, 26 genera, and 126 species are recognized. Parvoviridae is the sole family in the order Piccovirales, which is the sole order in the class Quintoviricetes. This class is assigned to the phylum Cossaviricota, which also includes papillomaviruses, polyomaviruses, and bidnaviruses.

A variety of diseases in animals are caused by parvoviruses. Notably, the canine parvovirus and feline parvovirus cause severe disease in dogs and cats, respectively. In pigs, the porcine parvovirus is a major cause of infertility. Human parvoviruses are less severe, the two most notable being parvovirus B19, which causes a variety of illnesses including fifth disease in children, and human bocavirus 1, which is a common cause of acute respiratory tract illness, especially in young children. In medicine, recombinant adeno-associated viruses (AAV) have become an important vector for delivering genes to the cell nucleus during gene therapy.

Animal parvoviruses were first discovered in the 1960s, including minute virus of mice, which is frequently used to study parvovirus replication. Many AAVs were also discovered during this time period and research on them over time has revealed their benefit as a form of medicine. The first pathogenic human parvovirus to be discovered was parvovirus B19 in 1974, which became associated with various diseases throughout the 1980s. Parvoviruses were first classified as the genus Parvovirus in 1971 but were elevated to family status in 1975. They take their name from the Latin word parvum, meaning 'small' or 'tiny', referring to the small size of the virus's virions.

Source: Wikipedia

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