The researchers performed a cutting edge DNA sequencing diagnostic on some immune-compromised laboratory mice that had died younger than expected and discovered the presence of the previously indeterminable parvovirus.
The discovery was published on Friday in science journal, Cell. Australia's Centenary Institute discovered the new virus in collaboration with researchers at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York.
At least 18 per cent of adults are affected by kidney disease.
"The virus appears to be highly specific to the kidney, which means we can potentially exploit its surface protein to develop gene therapies for inherited childhood kidney disease," Roediger said.
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