Virus Vocabulary

AIDS
(acquired immunodeficiency syndrome)The name of the late stages of HIV infection; defined by a specified reduction of T cells and the appearance of characteristic secondary infections.
bacterial chromosome
The single, circular DNA molecule found in bacteria.
bacteriophage
A virus that infects bacteria; also called a phage. See phage.
HIV
(human immunodeficiency virus)The infectious agent that causes AIDS; HIV is an RNA retrovirus.
lysogenic cycle
A phage replication cycle in which the viral genome becomes incorporated into the bacterial host chromosome as a prophage and does not kill the host
lytic cycle
A type of viral replication cycle resulting in the release of new phages by death or lysis of the host cell.
phage
A virus that infects bacteria; also called a bacteriophage.
prophage
A phage genome that has been inserted into a specific site on the bacterial chromosome
provirus
Viral DNA that inserts into a host genome.
retrovirus
An RNA virus that reproduces by transcribing its RNA into DNA and then inserting the DNA into a cellular chromosome; an important class of cancer-causing viruses.
reverse transcriptase
An enzyme encoded by some RNA viruses that uses RNA as a template for DNA synthesis.