AAAV Discovery

AAV is a small, DNA-containing virus that belongs to the family Parvoviridae within the genus Dependovirus. AAV was originally observed as a contaminant of laboratory preparations of adenovirus, then was recognized as a virus that was different from adenovirus but that was dependent on adenovi-rus for its replication (19,20). Soon after the discovery of AAV in laboratory stocks of adenoviruses, it was isolated from humans (21). AAV has not been associated with any disease but has been isolated from humans, generally in association with an infection by adenovirus (21).

Several serotypes of AAV have been distinguished. AAV1, AAV2, AAV3, and AAV4 have extensive DNA homology and significant serological overlap (22-25), but AAV5 is somewhat less related (26,27). AAV2 and AAV3 are the most frequently isolated serotypes from humans (21), whereas AAV5 has been isolated from humans only once (28). AAV4 is a simian isolate that does not infect humans, and AAV1 originally may have been isolated from a simian source (29). Additional recent isolates, AAV6 (30), AAV 7, and AAV8 (31), are discussed below. Other AAV have been identified in a variety of animal species, but little characterization of these AAV isolates has been reported (1).

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