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Control of Viral Diseases

Retroviruses

A retrovirus is a type of RNA virus that contains the enzyme reverse transcriptase, which allows its genetic information to be integrated into the host DNA.

When in the host, a retrovirus uses an enzyme to turn its RNA into deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). It then incorporates this DNA strand into the genetic structure of the host so that the host produces more retroviruses when it generates new cells.  Therefore, infections caused by viruses are usually life-long and are very hard to protect against.

There are many types of retroviruses that infect both human beings and animals which are known to lead to certain types of cancer, as well as a range of viral infections.

Our research on retroviruses is focused predominantly on ovine pulmonary adenocarcinoma (OPA), a contagious lung cancer of sheep caused by jaagsiekte sheep retrovirus (JSRV).  

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Printed from http://www.moredun.org.uk/research/expertise-%40-moredun/virology/retroviruses on 30/03/17 11:37:50 AM

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