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The Herpesviridae is composed of large, enveloped, double-stranded DNA viruses. Eight human herpesviruses (HHVs) and a very large number of animal herpesvirsues have been identified. The HHVs include: herpes simplex virus-1 (HSV-1) and HSV-2, which cause facial and genital lesions; varicella-zoster virus (VZV), which causes chickenpox and shingles; Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), an infectious cause of mononucleosis and Burkitt lymphoma (BL); cytomegalovirus (CMV), a leading cause of congenital blindness; HHV types 6 and 7 (HHV-6 and HHV-7), which cause roseola; and Kaposi Sarcoma (KS)-associated herpesvirus (KSHV), also known as HHV-8 (Table 14–1). In addition, the simian herpesvirus, herpes B virus, has occasionally caused lethal human disease in primate center workers.

TABLE 14–1Human Herpesviruses

Large, enveloped, double-stranded DNA viruses

Eight HHVs cause a range of diseases



All herpesviruses are morphologically similar, with an overall size of 180 to 200 nm. An example of a HSV virion is shown in Figure 14–1 as a representative virion structure for herpesviruses. The linear, double-stranded DNA genome and core proteins are encapsidated by an icosahedral capsid. The capsid is surrounded by the tegument, a relatively amorphous protein-filled region unique to herpesviruses. The tegument contains viral proteins and enzymes that play a structural role and are required immediately for viral replication upon initial infection. Virions have also been shown to contain both host and viral mRNAs that can be translated upon entry, but their role for infection is unknown. Surrounding the tegument is a lipoprotein envelope originally derived from the nuclear membrane of the infected host ...

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