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Definition of Retrovirus

Retrovirus: A virus that is composed not of DNA but of RNA. Retroviruses have an enzyme, called reverse transcriptase, that gives them the unique property of transcribing their RNA into DNA after entering a cell. The retroviral DNA can then integrate into the chromosomal DNA of the host cell, to be expressed there. HIV is a retrovirus.

Source: MedTerms™ Medical Dictionary
http://www.medterms.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=5344
Last Editorial Review: 3/19/2012

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