Medycyna Wet. 62 (7), 744-748, 2006
Materniak M., KuźŸmak J.
Spumaviruses – mysterious retroviruses
Spumaviruses belong to the family of Retroviridae, genus Spumavirus. They are also commonly known as foamy viruses or syncytial viruses because of inducing the spectacular cytopathic effect in tissue culture, which produces vacuolated “foamy” forms and the appearance of typical syncytia. Foamy viruses are widespread and have been isolated from many mammals, such as primates, pets and livestock animals. The resultant infection is persistent and infected individuals develop a strong antibody response. Although these viruses cause a strong cytophatic effect in cell cultures, they have never been linked to particular symptoms or pathalogical developments. During the last few years the research on spumaviruses has increased, mainly due to their possible zoonotic potential and thus a great deal of activities connected with the development of diagnostic assays and pathogenicity studies were carried out. This paper reviews the present stage of knowledge on spumaviruses found in humans and animals.
Keywords: spumaviruses, retroviruses