The numerous protozoa that can inhabit the human gastro-intestinal tract are known, yet little is understood of
the viruses which infect these protozoa. The discovery, morphologic details, purification methods of virus-like particles,
genome and proteome of the parasitic viruses, Entamoeba histolytica, Giardia lamblia, Trichomonas vaginalis, and the
Eimeria sp. are described in this review. The protozoan viruses share many common features: most of them are RNA or
double-stranded RNA viruses, ranging between 5 and 8 kilobases, and are spherical or icosahedral in shape with an average
diameter of 30-40 nm. These viruses may influence the function and pathogenicity of the protozoa which they infect,
and may be important to investigate from a clinical perspective. The viruses may be used as specific genetic transfection
vectors for the parasites and may represent a research tool. This review provides an overview on recent advances in the
field of protozoan viruses.
Keywords: Cell biology, double-stranded RNA virus, parasite, parasitic virus, protozoa, protozoan virus.
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