The naked truth: An updated review on nudiviruses and their relationship to bracoviruses and baculoviruses

Jirka M. Petersen, Annie Bézier, Jean Michel Drezen, Monique M. van Oers*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Nudiviruses (Nudiviridae) are double-stranded DNA viruses with enveloped and rod-shaped virions. Several insect orders (e.g., Diptera, Lepidoptera, Coleoptera, Orthoptera) and aquatic crustaceans are susceptible to nudivirus infections, which can result in varied degrees of disease in all developmental host stages. Their pathogenicity endangers insect rearing and crustacean aquacultures, but has also proven effective in biocontrol against Oryctes rhinoceros infestations. This literature review aims to present all known nudivirus species and provide a comprehensive Nudiviridae phylogeny by including recently described nudiviral isolates, and discuss this phylogeny in comparison to current opinions and taxonomical propositions. Moreover, we aim to clarify biological, pathological and genomic differences or similarities between nudiviruses and related entomopathogenic viruses, including baculoviruses (Baculoviridae) and bracoviruses (Polydnaviridae). A phylogenetic analysis using 17 concatenated nudivirus core genes resulted in the expected structure with the genera Alphanudivirus and Betanudivirus, as well as the most recently recognized genera Gammanudivirus and Deltanudivirus. The hymenopteran Osmia cornuta nudivirus (OcNV) groups closest with the hymenopteran Fopius arisanus endogenous nudivirus (FaENV) and does not share a most common ancestor with the hymenopteran bracoviruses. Except for one node, all clades are highly supported. The proposition of a recent study to assign subgroups to the alphanudiviruses might be legitimate, but more hymenopteran and orthopteran nudiviruses, especially in bees and cricket, need to be identified to resolve this proposal. In addition, freshwater and marine nudiviruses might form taxonomic subgroups among gammanudiviruses as well, but more aquatic nudiviruses need to be identified and sequenced for better resolution. Furthermore, the search for nudiviruses in insects with (semi)aquatic life stages may aid in finding the missing link that led to the manifestation of aquatic nudiviruses.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107718
JournalJournal of Invertebrate Pathology
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022


  • Baculoviruses
  • Bracoviruses
  • Classification
  • Crustaceans
  • DNA viruses
  • Insects
  • Nudiviruses
  • Pathology
  • Phylogeny


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