Dependovirus is a genus of the Parvoviridae viruses, which are Group II viruses according to the Baltimore classification of viruses. The Dependovirus is part of the sub family of the Parvoviridae family known as the Parvovirinae.
The Dependoviruses are replication-defective viruses. This means that they are unable to replicate their genomes without the presence of a helper virus. The genus consists of four types of adeno-associated viruses (AAV1-4) which require Adenovirus (or Herpesviruses ) for helper functions to replicate. The adenovirus is involved in early replication, which means that the virus is involved in regulatory function of the Dependoviruses. The Adenovirus is not involved in the later stages of replication where the structural genes are involved.
The genetic material of Dependovirus species have been shown to be able to persist in cultured cells for long periods of time. During this time the virus does not show any evidence of its presence. The virus is able to survive within human beings in what is known as a latent state. In this state the virus is only detectable in a specimen taken from a person that is also infected with adenovirus. It is this characteristic that allows the Dependovirus to survive even though the virus is defective in its ability to replicate. The virus's inability to replicate also affects its ability to passed in an infective form from host to host.