About the book
More than 200 herpesviruses have been described in humans and animals. Eight of these viruses are known to infect humans: herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1), herpes simplex virus 2 (HSV-2), human cytomegalovirus (HCMV), varicella-zoster virus (VZV), Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), and Human Herpesviruses 6A, 6B, and 7 (HHV-6A, HHV-6B, HHV-7), and Kaposi’s sarcoma–associated herpesvirus (also known as HHV-8).
After the primary infection of the host, herpesviruses established a persistent lifelong infection, which can be reactivated from time to time especially if the host becomes immunocompromised. The different viral species persist in different cells, whereby the cell type is the decisive factor determining latency or replication of the virus. Herpesvirus reactivation may occur spontaneously or as a result of psychosocial and physical stress, hormonal changes, infections, immunosuppressive medication, and other events impairing the host immune defense. However, the actual mechanisms that reactivate the lytic viral life cycle are unknown. Primary and/or reactivated herpesvirus infections are often asymptomatic, but they can be manifested as diseases of varying severity. The severity of an infection is determined by the interplay between the particular virus and its host, and especially on cell-mediated immunity of the host.
The objectives of this book are to provide current knowledge related to the biology of human Herpesviruses including pathogenesis, clinical manifestations, diagnosis, therapy, epidemiology and prevention.