Are human endogenous retroviruses pathogenic? An approach to testing the hypothesis.
Bottom Line: Recent technological advances in sequencing and bioinformatics are making this task increasingly feasible.The accumulating knowledge of HERV biology may also facilitate the definition and general acceptance of criteria that establish HERV pathogenicity.Here, we explore possible mechanisms whereby HERVs may cause disease and examine the evidence that either has been or should be obtained in order to decisively address the pathogenic potential of HERVs.
Affiliation: Division of Virology, MRC National Institute for Medical Research, London, UK.Show MeSH
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Mentions: Due to the requirement for a proviral stage in the retroviral life cycle, occasional infections in germ cells (Fig. 2) have preserved ERVs as a ‘fossil record’ of ancestral retroviral infections spanning many millions of years 8.
Affiliation: Division of Virology, MRC National Institute for Medical Research, London, UK.