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Virus classification
Group: Group VI (ssRNA-RT)
Family: Retroviridae
Subfamily: Spumaretrovirinae
Genus: Spumavirus
Type species
Simian foamy virus

African green monkey simian foamy virus
Macaque simian foamy virus
Bovine foamy virus
Equine foamy virus
Feline foamy virus
Simian foamy virus
Human foamy virus

A spumavirus (spuma, Latin for "foam") 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. Spumaviruses are unlike most enveloped viruses in that the envelope membrane is acquired by budding through the endoplasmic reticulum instead of the cytoplasmic membrane. Some spumaviruses, including the equine foamy virus (EFV), bud from the cytoplasmic membrane.

Some examples of this virus are 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.[1]


  1. ^ Acheson, NH (2007). Fundamentals of Molecular Virology (1st ed.). Wiley. ISBN 0-471-35151-2. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Santillana-Hayat M, Valla J, Canivet M, Peries J, Molina JM (1996). "Inhibition of the in vitro infectivity and cytopathic effect of human foamy virus by dideoxynucleosides". AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 12 (15): 1485–90. doi:10.1089/aid.1996.12.1485. PMID 8893056. 

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