According to Wikipedia- – retroviruses are RNA viruses that have the ability to insert a copy of their own RNA genome into the DNA genome of a host cell that they invade . To do this amazing genetic inversion process, retroviruses use their own reverse transcriptase enzyme to instruct the host to produce a DNA copy of their own RNA genome . This new retroviral DNA- called a provirus– is then incorporated into the host cell DNA genome with an integrase enzyme. The host cell then treats this viral DNA as part of its own genome transcribing it into RNA and then translating the viral genes along with the host cells own genes-into peptides following the Francis Crick model which every student learned in their high school biology class.:namely: first its DNA-to RNA-then this RNA into peptide. With the HIV retrovirus pandemic this genetic process became uncontrolled filling the host cytoplasm of the targeted T4 host lymphocytes or helper cells with copies of its RNA which then reduced the hosts ability to produce antibodies. Such victims with decreased ability to produce antibodies began showing signs of acquired immune deficiency disorders or AIDS– It is hoped that the the molecular biologists working with these viruses have excluded this “accumulation “ property of the other retroviruses.Look up: Wikipedia- retroviruses.
Just 2 more remarks before closing this post/blog. A similar process of integration occurs in bacteria except that here the -provirus is called a bacteriophage. The second point relates to prevention: Since before this inversion process can occur, the retrovirus first has to be present within the cytoplasm of the host cell ,presumably by direct penetration of the cell membrane. Research on studies to prevent this cell wall penetration may be less expensive and/or time consuming than working on vaccines.
I leave that latter discussion to future blogs and /or posts on my website. <docsam.ca> and/or <docsamblog.blogspot.com>
A word of caution :Molecular biologists quickly realized that retroviruses could be useful tools in adding new genes to the human DNA genome but do run the risk of potentially creating new retrovirus pathogens. Dr. Leonard Horowitz hasdetailed some of these possibilities and dangers In his textbook Emerging Viruses AIDS & Ebola. Nature, Accident or Intentional ?,
Since this inversion genetic process is permanent we should probably not use blood and/or other body fluids from such individuals for transfusions and other bodily fluid exchanges. Dr.S.B.Hrushovetz Mar 03/2020