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JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW

Latent herpesviruses of humans

M C Jordan, G W Jordan, J G Stevens, G Miller
Annals of Internal Medicine 1984, 100 (6): 866-80
6326635
The herpesviruses that infect humans characteristically establish a latent infection that may be reactivated later. The consequences of reactivation range from asymptomatic shedding to severe disseminated infection. Varicella-zoster and herpes simplex viruses are both highly neurotropic, establishing nonreplicating infections in sensory ganglia. Latent herpes simplex virus is known to reside in neurons, and the virus-cell interactions involved have been defined to an extent. Cytomegalovirus and Epstein-Barr virus interact with peripheral blood leukocytes. Latent cytomegalovirus infection of human leukocytes has not been proved, although studies in a murine model have implicated B lymphocytes as a repository of latent virus. Epstein-Barr virus is known to persist in a non-replicating state as extrachromosomal DNA in B lymphocytes and to cause "immortalization" of the infected cell; persistence of the viral genome in epithelial cells may also result in malignant transformation, such as nasopharyngeal carcinoma.

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