slow virus


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Related to slow virus: kuru, Slow Worm

slow virus,

technically a virus, such as a lentivirus, that causes symptoms in an infected host long after the original infection and progresses slowly. Although many viruses fit this description, the term slow virus is usually reserved for the first recognized lentiviruses, such as the virus that causes visna (a disease of sheep). A slow virus was proposed as a cause for those diseases now generally recognized as prionprion
, abnormal form of a protein found in mammals, believed to cause a group of diseases known as prion diseases or transmissible spongiform encephalopathies. Well-known prion diseases are Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) and kuru in humans, scrapie in sheep, bovine
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 diseases (e.g., Creutzfeld-Jacob disease and scrapie).

slow virus

[′slō ′vī·rəs]
(virology)
Any member of a group of animal viruses characterized by prolonged periods of incubation and an extended clinical course lasting months or years.

slow virus

any of a class of virus-like disease-causing agents known as prions that are present in the body for a long time before becoming active or infectious and are very resistant to radiation and similar factors: believed to be the cause of BSE and scrapie
References in periodicals archive ?
Various scientists believe it may be caused by infection from a slow virus, toxic agents, autoimmunity or genetic factors (one study found relatives of Alzheimer's patients more likely to have children with Down's).