A spumavirus or foamyvirus is a genus of the retroviridae family. Spumaviruses are exogenous viruses that have specific morphology with prominent surface spikes. The virions contain significant amounts of double-stranded full-length DNA, and assembly is rather unusual in these viruses. Normally, the envelope membrane is acquired by budding through the endoplasmic reticulum. However, in, for example, the equine foamy virus (EFV), budding from the cytoplasmic membrane occurs.

Some examples of this virus are the chimpanzee foamy virus, simian foamy virus and the human foamy virus.

While spumaviruses will form characteristic large vacuoles in their host cells while in vitro, there is no disease association in vivo.

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Further reading

  • Santillana-Hayat M, Valla J et al. "Inhibition of the in vitro infectivity and cytopathic effect of human foamy virus by dideoxynucleosides". AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 1996 Oct 10; 12(15):1485-90.

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