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Introduction

Mimivirus is a viral genus that contains the only discovered species Acanthamoeba polyphaga mimivirus (APMV). The Mimivirus holds the largest capsid in diameter compared to the other known classic viruses such as the HIV or the influenza virus. Because of these features, scientists had first mistaken the virus to be a bacterium. Mimivirus was first discovered in 1992 by a French Scientist in Marseille. These scientists were investigating Legionnaires’ disease, in which they came upon by accident, a “coccus-like” bacterium. It wasn’t until 2003, when a journal was first published in the discovery of the Mimivirus. The journal was written by a bacteriologist at the Universite de la Mediterranee in France, whom confirmed the identification of APMV. Mimivirus have a unique feature that is almost similar to a bacterium on Gram staining (Scola, 2003). So the name Mimivirus, originates from its initial misidentification of a Gram-positive bacteria, thus dubbed as the “microbe mimicking” virus. The discovery of Mimiviruses contradicts the accepted theories of viruses being small in size and genome.

 

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