Description and occurrence
SV40 can infect both monkeys and humans, the natural hosts are mainly Asian macaques and rhesus monkeys. Like other polyomaviruses can cause under certain conditions, tumors, however, the infection remains asymptomatic in most cases, SV40. Add people do not make direct links between SV40 infection and the development of cancer were detected, however, play oncogenes SV40 virus in the development of cancer cells from human cells in cell culture a role. However, the relationship of human tumors and the SV40 as causal cause has yet to be proven safe. A simultaneous detection of SV40 in various tumors was to bring not necessarily with their etiology in conjunction. Even in breast cancer specimens, the relationship of SV40 and a modified methylation patterns of cellular genes was suspected, a final assessment of the relationship is not yet possible.
SV40 was discovered in 1960 in cell cultures of kidney cells from rhesus monkeys, which have been used for the production of polio vaccine. From 1955 to 1963 probably millions of people were vaccinated with oral and injectable vaccines while infected with SV40.
SV40 has a circular double-stranded DNA genome of about 5.2 kb, which is packaged with histones of the host cell. The virion is icosahedral.