Simian virus 40
Butel, Janet S. Department of Molecular Virology and Microbiology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas.
- SV40 infections and human disease
- Future directions
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
Simian virus 40 (SV40) was discovered in 1960 as a contaminant of poliovirus vaccines. Soon thereafter, it was shown to possess cancer-causing (oncogenic) activity. By the time the virus was recognized and removed from the vaccines, millions of people worldwide had been exposed to live SV40. The possible consequences of those exposures continue to be the topic of lively debate. There is strong evidence that SV40 is causing human infections today, including those in individuals too young to have been exposed to the early contaminated vaccines, but the potential role of the virus as an agent of human disease remains a focus of investigation. Other infectious agents are known to cause human cancer; the identification of another member of that select group would represent a significant advance in our quest to understand human carcinogenesis and its etiologies.
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