Seronegative hepatitis—non-A, non-B, non-C, non-D, non-E hepatitis—is poorly characterized but strongly associated with serious complications. We collected 92 sera specimens from patients with non-A–E hepatitis in Chongqing, China between 1999 and 2007. Ten sera pools were screened by Solexa deep sequencing. We discovered a 3,780-bp contig present in all 10 pools that yielded BLASTx E scores of 7e-05–0.008 against parvoviruses. The complete sequence of the in silico-assembled 3,780-bp contig was confirmed by gene amplification of overlapping regions over almost the entire genome, and the virus was provisionally designated NIH-CQV. Further analysis revealed that the contig was composed of two major ORFs. By protein BLAST, ORF1 and ORF2 were most homologous to the replication-associated protein of bat circovirus and the capsid protein of porcine parvovirus, respectively. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that NIH-CQV is located at the interface of Parvoviridae and Circoviridae. Prevalence of NIH-CQV in patients was determined by quantitative PCR. Sixty-three of 90 patient samples (70%) were positive, but all those from 45 healthy controls were negative. Average virus titer in the patient specimens was 1.05 e4 copies/µL. Specific antibodies against NIH-CQV were sought by immunoblotting. Eighty-four percent of patients were positive for IgG, and 31% were positive for IgM; in contrast, 78% of healthy controls were positive for IgG, but all were negative for IgM. Although more work is needed to determine the etiologic role of NIH-CQV in human disease, our data indicate that a parvovirus-like virus is highly prevalent in a cohort of patients with non-A–E hepatitis.
Parvovirus virion courtesy of Russell Kightley Media