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Any of a group of spheroidal viruses, made up of DNA wrapped in a protein coat, that cause sore throat and fever in humans, hepatitis in dogs, and several diseases in fowl, mice, cattle, pigs, and monkeys. An adenovirus develops within the nucleus of an infected cell. In humans, adenoviruses, like cold viruses, may cause infections of the upper respiratory tract, the eyes, and frequently the lymph nodes. Like cold viruses, adenoviruses are often found in inactive infections in clinically healthy persons. Because only a few adenoviruses commonly cause illness in humans, vaccines against them are possible.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on adenovirus, visit Britannica.com.