One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Any of a group of small DNA viruses, most of which infect mammals and can cause sarcoma and warts.
- ‘Eighty-three percent of hamsters inoculated at birth with JC virus, a human papovavirus isolated from brain tissue of a case of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy, developed malignant gliomas within 6 months.’
- ‘Phleomycin, a copper-containing antibiotic, was effective in blocking the synthesis of infectious simian papovavirus SV40.’
1960s: from pa(pilloma) + po(lyoma) + va(cuolating) + virus.
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