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Minute infectious agent normally present in extremely small amounts in wild mice without causing obvious ill effects. It may induce cancerous tumours if grown in tissue culture and injected in large quantities into newborn mice or young hamsters, guinea pigs, and rabbits. It belongs to the Papovaviridae family of viruses.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on polyoma virus, visit Britannica.com.
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