Next-generation sequencing has expanded our understanding of the viral populations that constitute the mammalian virome. We describe a novel taxon of viruses named Statoviruses, for Stool associated Tombus-like viruses, present in multiple metagenomic datasets. These viruses define a novel clade that is phylogenetically related to the RNA virus families Tombusviridae and Flaviviridae. Five distinct statovirus types were identified in human, macaque, mouse, and cow gastrointestinal tract samples. The prototype genome, statovirus A, was frequently identified in macaque stool samples from multiple geographically distinct cohorts. Another genome, statovirus C1, was discovered in a stool sample from a human child with fever, cough, and rash. Further experimental data will clarify whether these viruses are infectious to mammals or if they originate from another source present in the mammalian gastrointestinal tract.
- Viral discovery