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retrovirus Syllabification: ret·ro·vi·rus
Pronunciation: /ˈretrōˌvīrəs/

Definition of retrovirus in English:


Any of a group of RNA viruses that insert a DNA copy of their genome into the host cell in order to replicate, e.g., HIV.
Example sentences
  • As a vehicle for gene therapy, the retrovirus is modified so that it cannot produce infectious virus after entering the cell.
  • Thus far, adenoviruses and retroviruses are the two families of viruses that have been used in the majority of clinical trials.
  • All retroviruses are similar, and our genome is full of dormant retroviruses - over 2 percent of the genome is retroviral.


1970s: modern Latin, from the initial letters of reverse transcriptase + virus.

Definition of retrovirus in:
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