The hepatopancreatic parvo-like virus (HPV) of penaeid shrimp was extracted from infected shrimp tissues, purified and subsequently characterized. The viral particles, icosahedral in shape, are 22 nm in diameter and possess a buoyant density of 1.41 g/ml. They contain ssDNA, of approximately 5 kb in size which encodes a single polypeptide of 54 kDa. On the basis of its general characteristics this pathogenic agent belongs to the Parvoviridae family, but because of two unusual characteristics (capsid protein formed with a single polypeptide and genome structure more closely related to the autonomous parvoviruses rather than the densoviruses), it seems to constitute a novel group in the Parvoviridae family.
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