They are known as the human herpesviruses and are herpes simplex virus type 1, herpes simplex virus type 2, varicella-zoster virus, cytomegalovirus, Epstein-Barr virus, human herpesvirus 6, human herpesvirus 7 and, most recently, Kaposi’s Sarcoma herpesvirus. Neonatal herpes simplex virus infection and herpes simplex virus encephalitis also occur. Finally, all herpesviruses establish latent infection within tissues that are characteristic for each virus, reflecting the unique tissue trophism of each member of this family. Four biological properties characterize members of the Herpesviridae family. Although members of the Herpesviridae family differ with respect to the clinical manifestations of the diseases they cause, they generally have a global distribution and are highly disseminated in nature. Some herpesviruses may also spread through airborne transmission.
Viruses in this family are also enveloped viruses that can exhibit pleomorphism. Members of the herpesviridae family include oral and genital herpes, chickenpox, Kaposi’s sarcoma herpesvirus (most often seen in people with HIV), and the Epstein-Barr virus (which causes infectious mononucleosis). One strain of human herpesvirus, HHV-8 (also known as Kapsi’s sarcoma) is prevalent in immuno-suppressed individuals, such as people who have had an organ transplant and are taking immuno-suppressing drugs, and those with HIV. The Herpesviridae are a large family of DNA viruses that cause diseases in animals, including humans. The members of this family are also known as herpesviruses.
Herpesviridae is a large family of DNA viruses that cause diseases in animals, including humans. The members of this family are also known as herpes viruses. Often referred to as an ancient viral family, the chronic nature of herpesvirus infections and their ability to effectively evade the human immune system are testaments to a centuries-long co-evolution between humans and herpes viruses. Latent infection is a defining characteristic of members of the herpesviridae family: all herpes viruses have the ability to establish latent and lifelong infections in a specific host cell type, wherein viral replication either stops completely for long periods of time, or reduces to a very low rate. It’s how HIV works, and also how viruses in the herpesvirus family, like human cytomegalovirus (HCMV), do their business. In a new study published in Science Advances, a group of University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers show that individual cells in the human body have an armament designed to prevent HCMV from achieving and maintaining this latency, to shine a spotlight on the virus so the immune system knows to fight.
Double-stranded Dna Viruses: Herpesviruses
The herpes family of viruses can have a surprising upside–it can protect against the bubonic plague and other bacterial contagions, at least in mice. Nearly all humans become infected with multiple herpes virus family members during childhood. Common cell types in which the human herpesviruses, grouped by family, initiate productive lytic infection or establish latency are listed. KSHV, also known as human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8), is classified as a member of the gammaherpesvirus subfamily within the Herpesviridae family. KSHV is the etiological agent of KS and is the primary cause of two B cell proliferative cancers, primary effusion lymphoma (PEL) and a variant of multicentric Castleman’s disease (MCD) (1, 2).