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slow virus disease


Definition: a disease that follows a slow, progressive course spanning months to years, frequently involving the central nervous system and ultimately leading to death; examples are visna and maedi disease of sheep, caused by viruses of the genus Lentivirus (family Retroviridae), and subacute sclerosing panencephalitis, apparently caused by the measles virus. Spongiform encephalopathies, including kuru of humans, scrapie of sheep, and transmissible encephalopathy of mink may also be classified under slow virus disease as they were previously but are now more widely considered prion diseases.

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© Copyright 2018 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review date: Sep 19, 2016.