Genome analysis of the new human polyomaviruses

Rev Med Virol. 2012 Nov;22(6):354-77. doi: 10.1002/rmv.1711. Epub 2012 Mar 28.


Polyomaviridae is a growing family of naked, double-stranded DNA viruses that infect birds and mammals. The last few years, several new members infecting birds or primates have been discovered, including seven human polyomaviruses: KI, WU, Merkel cell polyomavirus, HPyV6, HPyV7, trichodysplasia spinulosa-associated polyomavirus, and HPyV9. In addition, DNA and antibodies against the monkey lymphotropic polyomavirus have been detected in humans, indicating that this virus can also infect man. However, little is known about the route of infection, transmission, cell tropism, and, with the exception of Merkel cell polyomavirus and trichodysplasia spinulosa-associated polyomavirus, the pathogenicity of these viruses. This review compares the genomes of these emerging human polyomaviruses with previously known polyomaviruses detected in man, reports mutations in different isolates, and predicts structural and functional properties of their viral proteins.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Base Sequence
  • DNA, Viral / genetics
  • Genome, Viral / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutation
  • Phylogeny
  • Polyomavirus / genetics*
  • Polyomavirus / isolation & purification
  • Polyomavirus Infections / virology*
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • Sequence Alignment
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • Tumor Virus Infections / virology*
  • Viral Proteins / chemistry
  • Viral Proteins / genetics
  • Viral Proteins / metabolism*


  • DNA, Viral
  • Viral Proteins