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retrovirusRetrovirus (ger.)

  • Any member of the family Retroviridae of enveloped, single-stranded RNA viruses possessing the enzyme reverse transcriptase, which allows integration of proviral DNA into the host genome, and which include the oncornaviruses (leukaemia and sarcoma viruses of various species, now divided into five genera), lentiviruses, and foamy viruses. (OED 2012)

    One class of RNA viruses […] does have a unique symptom associated with it: the biochemically defined group of viruses called the retroviruses are the only RNA viruses known to cause cancer.

    Baltimore, D. (1976). Viruses, polymerases, and cancer viruses, polymerases, and cancer. Science 192, 632-636: 634.