unconventional virus

unconventional 'virus'

An infectious agent, formerly regarded as slow viruses, now known as prions, a small infectious particle, consisting entirely of subverted cell protein; prions cause degenerative encephalopathies in sheep and goats–scrapie, cows–bovine spongiform encephalopathy, humans–kuru, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. See Kuru, Prions, Slow viruses.
McGraw-Hill Concise Dictionary of Modern Medicine. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Mentioned in ?
References in periodicals archive ?
In his seminal article, he summarized experimental data indicating that the molecular properties of this infectious agent differed from those of other infectious agents, including viruses, viroids, and plasmids; he proposed the word prion to replace other terms then in circulation, such as "unconventional virus" or "unusual slow virus-like agent."

Full browser ?