enveloped virus

Definition / meaning of enveloped virus

A virus that has an outer wrapping or envelope. This envelope comes from the infected cell, or host, in a process called “budding off.” During the budding process, newly formed virus particles become “enveloped” or wrapped in an outer coat that is made from a small piece of the cell’s plasma membrane. The envelope may play a role in helping a virus survive and infect other cells.

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Source(s):

The Web site of the National Cancer Institute (http://www.cancer.gov/)

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