Definition: A heterogeneous family of morphologically similar viruses, all of which contain double-stranded DNA and infect humans and a wide variety of other vertebrates. Infections produce type A inclusion bodies; in many instances, infection may remain latent for many years, even in the presence of specific circulating antibodies. Virions are enveloped, ether sensitive, and vary up to 200 nm in diameter; the nucleocapsids are 100 nm in diameter and of icosahedral symmetry, with 162 capsomeres. The family is subdivided into three subfamilies Alphaherpesvirinae, Betaherpesvirinae, and Gammaherpesvirinae, and includes herpes simplex virus, varicella-zoster virus, cytomegalovirus, and Epstein-Barr virus (all of which infect humans), pseudorabies virus of swine, equine rhinopneumonitis virus, infectious bovine rhinotracheitis virus, canine herpesvirus, B virus of Old World monkeys, several viruses of New World monkeys, virus III of rabbits, infectious laryngotracheitis virus of fowl, Marek disease virus of chickens, Lucké tumor virus of frogs, and many others.
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