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Front Biosci. 1999 Feb 15;4:D153-64.

Polyomaviruses and human tumors: a brief review of current concepts and interpretations.

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Division of Molecular Virology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas 77030, USA.


Polyomaviruses are small DNA viruses that typically establish persistent but inapparent infections of their natural hosts, although cytolytic disease may develop if the host becomes immunocompromised. Most polyomaviruses have the ability to induce tumor formation when introduced into certain foreign hosts and are considered oncoviruses. Some polyomaviruses, including those that infect humans, have occasionally been detected in cancerous tissue of their natural hosts. This article briefly reviews the biology of polyomaviruses and explores issues pertaining to the significance of association of polyomaviruses with human tumors.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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