Family of RNA viruses that infects birds and mammals and encodes the enzyme reverse transcriptase. The family contains seven genera: DELTARETROVIRUS; LENTIVIRUS; RETROVIRUSES TYPE B, MAMMALIAN; ALPHARETROVIRUS; GAMMARETROVIRUS; RETROVIRUSES TYPE D; and SPUMAVIRUS. A key feature of retrovirus biology is the synthesis of a DNA copy of the genome which is integrated into cellular DNA. After integration it is sometimes not expressed but maintained in a latent state (PROVIRUSES).
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