Virus classification
Group: Group I (dsDNA)
Family: Papovaviridae


A papovavirus is any member of the former virus family of Papovaviridae.[1] They are mainly associated with various neoplasms in mammals.[1] The family of Papovaviridae is no longer used in recent taxonomy, but is split into the Papillomaviridae and the Polyomaviridae.[2]

The name derives from three abbreviations: Pa for papillomavirus, Po for polyomavirus, and Va for "vacuolating" (simian vacuolating virus 40 or SV40, which is now known to be part of the polyomavirus genus).

Papovaviruses are DNA viruses containing double-stranded DNA, are icosahedral in shape, and do not have a lipoprotein envelope.

They are commonly found in humans and other species, mostly mammals. The one that most often causes disease in humans is the human papillomavirus.


  1. 1 2 Page 23a in: Merriam-Webster's collegiate dictionary. Springfield, Mass: Merriam-Webster, Inc. 2003. ISBN 0-87779-809-5.
  2. Polyomaviridae 2004 Stanford University. Referring to the Seventh Report of the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses
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