Skip to Content
Medical Term:


Pronunciation: ret'ro-vir'i-de


A family of RNA viruses 80–100 nm in diameter, enveloped, and containing two identical molecules of positive sense, single-stranded RNA, molecular weight 3–6 × 106; genomic RNA serves as a template for the synthesis of a complementary DNA, which may be integrated into the host DNA. At present, seven genera have been identified: Mammalian type B retroviruses, Mammalian type C retroviruses, Avian type C retroviruses, Type D retroviruses, BLV-HTLV retroviruses, Lentivirus, and Spumovirus.

© Copyright 2017 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review Date: Sep 19, 2016.