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Coffin JM, Hughes SH, Varmus HE, editors. Retroviruses. Cold Spring Harbor (NY): Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press; 1997.

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Retroviruses are unique among infectious agents, both in the way they interact with the host cell and organism and in the consequences of this interaction—not only to the life of the infected host, but also in some cases to the host's descendants. No other infectious agent of higher eukaryotes regularly integrates its genetic information into the host genome; no other regularly acquires host genes into its genome, no other can infect the germ line of its host; and no other has played such an important part in so many aspects of modern biology. The purpose of this brief section has been to build a bridge between the view presented in the preceding section in which the interactions of a single virus and a single cell are described and the many specialized aspects of interaction of retroviruses with the whole host. These include discussions of endogenous retroviruses and the related retroelements (Chapter 8); the use of retroviruses as vectors (Chapter 9); pathogenesis by retroviruses (Chapters 10 and 11); and, finally, the development of methodologies to prevent and control retroviral—particularly HIV—infection (Chapter 12). The body of knowledge regarding the interaction of retroviruses and cells in culture that has been acquired in the last 20 years is considerable; the body of information required for an equivalent understanding of the interactions of these viruses and their hosts is considerably greater.

Copyright © 1997, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.
Bookshelf ID: NBK19390


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