Retroviral Diseases

A retrovirus belongs to the family Retroviridae and it is a type of RNA virus which inserts a copy of its genome into the DNA of a host cell that it invades, causing change in the genome of that cell. Usually, in most viruses, DNA is transcribed into RNA, and then RNA is translated into protein. However, retroviruses function differently, as their RNA is reverse transcribed into DNA, which is integrated into the host cell's genome and then undergoes the usual transcription and translational processes to express the genes carried by the virus. Retroviruses can cause tumour growth and certain cancers in animals and are also associated with slow infections of animals. In humans, a retrovirus known as human T-cell lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1) causes a form of cancer known as adult T-cell leukemia (ATL). It can also cause a neurodegenerative condition known as HTLV-1-associated tropical spastic paraparesis (HAM/TSP).

 

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