Large group of viruses first isolated from cultures of adenoids. The capsid is an icosahedron of 240 hexons and 12 pentons and is in the form of a base and a fibre with a terminal swelling; the genome consists of a single, linear molecule of double-stranded DNA. They cause various respiratory infections in humans. Some of the avian, bovine, human and simian adenoviruses cause tumours in newborn rodents, generally hamsters. They can be classified into highly, weakly and non- oncogenic viruses from their ability to induce tumours in vivo though all of these groups will transform cultured cells. The viruses are named after their host species and sub-divided into many serological types eg. Human Adenovirus type 3.
Dictionary of molecular biology. 2004.