In 1986 we published a review article entitled ‘Some highlights of animal virus research in 1985’, in which we attempted to summarize important and interesting research on animal viruses published in 1985 (McGeoch , 1986). The limitations of the exercise were recognized: coverage was selective rather than systematic and, outside clearly pre-eminent subjects, was overtly influenced by personal scientific interests. In this article we now present a similar account of animal virology in 1986. Much the same ground rules have been retained. Selectivity remains of the first importance, and our treatment concerns work published in 1986 as far as possible, but with a little flexibility where necessary.

As with 1985, animal virology in 1986 was dominated by work on acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) retroviruses. Outside this area, however, we were not able to identify any small set of truly outstanding advances, although work in many virus systems clearly made excellent progress.


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