retrovirus

noun

ret·​ro·​vi·​rus ˈre-trō-ˌvī-rəs How to pronounce retrovirus (audio)
: any of a family (Retroviridae) of single-stranded RNA viruses that produce reverse transcriptase by means of which DNA is produced using their RNA as a template and incorporated into the genome of infected cells, that are often tumorigenic, and that include the lentiviruses (such as the HIVs) and the causative agent of Rous sarcoma
retroviral adjective

Examples of retrovirus in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web His early medical research probed the Rous sarcoma retrovirus, a cancer-causing virus that was first observed in birds. Brian Murphy, Washington Post, 15 Feb. 2024 The San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance and DNA-sequencing giant Illumina are examining the genetic information of nearly 100 koalas spanning 30 years to get a better understanding of koala retrovirus, or KoRV. Natallie Rocha, San Diego Union-Tribune, 17 Jan. 2024 In the trial, children were given a treatment based on retroviruses, which were used as vectors to carry a replacement for the malfunctioning genes responsible for the cohort’s immune deficiencies. Doug Johnson, Ars Technica, 5 Jan. 2023 This is in part because of the pathogen cargo such organs can transfer: Most pigs carry endogenous retroviruses, which can in theory lead to unpredictable illnesses in human recipients. Elizabeth Svoboda, Discover Magazine, 3 Dec. 2023 John started the Elton John AIDS Foundation in 1992 as a means of raising money for research into a cure for the retrovirus. Stephen Daw, Billboard, 27 Oct. 2023 The porcine genome contains 40 to 70 copies of DNA from porcine endogenous retroviruses (PERV) that are harmless to modern pigs but could be reactivated in humans. Shi En Kim, Scientific American, 11 Oct. 2023 An additional 59 edits were made to some of the donor animals to inactivate endogenous retroviruses, which are found in pig DNA. Emily Mullin, WIRED, 11 Oct. 2023 Researchers have yet to develop a vaccine for the retrovirus HIV, for example, in large part because its multiple strains keep evolving. Anna Funk, Discover Magazine, 12 June 2019 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'retrovirus.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

New Latin

First Known Use

1975, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of retrovirus was in 1975

Dictionary Entries Near retrovirus

Cite this Entry

“Retrovirus.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/retrovirus. Accessed 24 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

retrovirus

noun
ret·​ro·​vi·​rus ˈre-trō-ˌvī-rəs How to pronounce retrovirus (audio)
: any of a group of RNA-containing viruses (as HIV) that replicate by becoming incorporated into the chromosomes of infected cells in the form of DNA which is produced from the viral RNA

Medical Definition

retrovirus

noun
ret·​ro·​vi·​rus ˈre-trō-ˌvī-rəs How to pronounce retrovirus (audio)
: any of the family Retroviridae of single-stranded RNA viruses

called also RNA tumor virus

retroviral adjective
retrovirally adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on retrovirus

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