Ancient human parvovirus B19 in Eurasia reveals its log-term association with humans

Barbara Mühlemann, Ashot Margaryan, Peter de Barros Damgaard, Morten E. Allentoft, Lasse Vinner, Anders J. Hansen, Andrzej Weber, Vladimir I. Bazaliiskii, Jette Arneborg, Wieslaw Bogdanowicz, Ceri Falys, Mikhail Sablin, Václav Smrcka, Sabine Sten, Kadicha Tashbaeva, Niels Lynnerup, Martin Sikora, Derek J. Smith, Ron A. M. Fouchier, Christian DrostenKarl-Göran Sjögren, Kristian Kristiansen, Eske Willerslev, Terry C. Jones

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Human parvovirus B19 (B19V) is a ubiquitous human pathogen
associated with a number of conditions, such as fifth disease in
children and arthritis and arthralgias in adults. B19V is thought to
evolve exceptionally rapidly among DNA viruses, with substitution
rates previously estimated to be closer to those typical of RNA
viruses. On the basis of genetic sequences up to ∼70 years of age,
the most recent common ancestor of all B19V has been dated to the
early 1800s, and it has been suggested that genotype 1, the most
common B19V genotype, only started circulating in the 1960s. Here
we present 10 genomes (63.9–99.7% genome coverage) of B19V
from dental and skeletal remains of individuals who lived in Eurasia
and Greenland from ∼0.5 to ∼6.9 thousand years ago (kya). In a
phylogenetic analysis, five of the ancient B19V sequences fall within
or basal to the modern genotype 1, and five fall basal to genotype 2,
showing a long-term association of B19V with humans. The most
recent common ancestor of all B19V is placed ∼12.6 kya, and we find
a substitution rate that is an order of magnitude lower than inferred
previously. Further, we are able to date the recombination event
between genotypes 1 and 3 that formed genotype 2 to ∼5.0–6.8
kya. This study emphasizes the importance of ancient viral sequences
for our understanding of virus evolution and phylogenetics.
TidsskriftNational Academy of Sciences. Proceedings
Udgave nummer29
Sider (fra-til)1-6
Antal sider7
StatusUdgivet - 2018


Mühlemann, B., Margaryan, A., Damgaard, P. D. B., Allentoft, M. E., Vinner, L., Hansen, A. J., Weber, A., Bazaliiskii, V. I., Arneborg, J., Bogdanowicz, W., Falys, C., Sablin, M., Smrcka, V., Sten, S., Tashbaeva, K., Lynnerup, N., Sikora, M., Smith, D. J., Fouchier, R. A. M., ... Jones, T. C. (2018). Ancient human parvovirus B19 in Eurasia reveals its log-term association with humans. National Academy of Sciences. Proceedings, 115 (29), 1-6.