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Inadvertent transfer of a mammalian retrovirus into birds

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Reticuloendotheliosis viruses (REVs) are retroviruses that cause a rare disease of gamebirds and waterfowl that includes anemia, immunosuppression, neoplasia, runting, and abnormal feathering. Since the first isolation of REV from a turkey in 1957, REVs were believed to be strictly avian viruses. It now appears that REVs are mammalian viruses that were accidentally introduced into birds in the 1930s during research on malaria.
 
 

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