The prefix Retro means reverse. Retroviruses
replicate nucleic acids opposite to the standard way, they do it in reverse.
Rather than using DNA to make RNA, retroviruses first make
DNA from RNA.
- RNA is released in the host
- Special enzymes carried by the viruses make viral DNA.
- The viral DNA attaches to chromosomes in the host
- Viral DNA moves off the host chromosomes and is
used to make many copies of viral RNA, which goes into virus particles.
- The virus particles are then released to infect other
Return to the Virus homepage