Malacoherpesviridae is a family of DNA viruses in the order Herpesvirales. Molluscs serve as natural hosts. There are currently only two species in this family
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, divided among 2 genera. Diseases associated with this family include: sporadic episodes of high mortality among larvae and juveniles. The family name Malacoherpesviridae is derived from Greek word ‘μαλακός (malacos) meaning ‘soft’ and from Greek word ‘μαλάκιον (malakion) meaning ‘mollusc.
Within this family, only two species have been described: Ostreid herpesvirus 1 in 2009 and Haliotid herpesvirus 1 in 2010.
Acute viral necrosis virus, which affects scallops such as Chlamys farreri
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, appears to be a variant of ostreid herpesvirus 1.
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.
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. Malacoherpesviridae may have the ability to infect across species
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, a feature not typically observed in vertebrate herpesviruses. This ability appears to be restricted to related mollusc species.
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