A single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) virus, Asterias forbesi-associated circular virus (AfaCV), was discovered in a Forbes sea star displaying symptoms of sea star wasting disease (SSWD). The AfaCV genome organization is typical of circular Rep-encoding ssDNA (CRESS-DNA) viruses and is similar to that of members of the family Circoviridae. PCR-based surveys indicate that AfaCV is not clearly associated with SSWD, whereas the sea star-associated densovirus (SSaDV), recently implicated in SSWD in the Pacific, was prevalent in symptomatic specimens. AfaCV represents the first CRESS-DNA virus detected in echinoderms, adding to the growing diversity of these viruses recently recovered from invertebrates.
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