retrovirus

Pronunciation: (REH-troh-VY-rus)

A type of virus that has RNA instead of DNA as its genetic material. It uses an enzyme called reverse transcriptase to become part of the host cellsā€™ DNA. This allows many copies of the virus to be made in the host cells. The virus that causes AIDS, the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), is a type of retrovirus.

Source: NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms

2003-05-23 Date last modified: 2007-03-08