What is cytomegalovirus (CMV)?

Updated: Jul 07, 2021
  • Author: Ricardo Cedeno-Mendoza, MD; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Answer

Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a double-stranded DNA virus and is a member of the Herpesviridae family. The other family members include herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1 or HHV-1) and herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2 or HHV-2), varicella zoster virus (VZV), human herpes virus (HHV)–6, HHV-7, and HHV-8. CMV shares many attributes with other herpes viruses, including genome, virion structure, and the ability to cause latent and persistent infections. CMV has the largest genome of the herpes viruses. Replication may be categorized into immediate early, delayed early, and late gene expression based on time of synthesis after infection. The DNA is replicated by rolling circles. Human CMV grows only in human cells and replicates best in human fibroblasts.


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