Molecular Biology of Cytomegaloviruses

  • Mark F. Stinski
Part of the The Viruses book series (VIRS)


In the human host, infection by cytomegaloviruses (CMVs) induces a variety of syndromes ranging from the classic cytomegalic inclusion disease to intrauterine death, prematurity, congenital defects, infectious mononucleosis, postperfusion syndrome, and interstitial pneumonia in transplantation patients (for reviews, see Weller, 1971; Rapp, 1980; Ho, 1982). These diseases caused by human CMV (HCMV) frequently represent infections after reactivation of latent virus and are usually associated with immuno-suppression due to a variety of situations such as malignant disease and chemotherapy (Weller, 1971; Plummer, 1973). Therefore, the HCMV genome has evolved to remain in human cells in a quiescent state from the time of primary infection. Although the majority of humans carry this virus, overt disease is a rare event. Unfortunately, little is known about the molecular biology of the latent CMV genome; consequently, this chapter will emphasize the events after reactivation of the viral genome. Reactivation is the event that allows for replication of the viral DNA genome and eventual release of infectious virus to cause overt disease. Latency and reactivation of HCMV replication relate directly to the regulation of the viral genome by host- and/or virus-specified genes in the eukaryotic cell.


Herpes Simplex Virus Type Dense Body Human Cytomegalovirus HCMV Infection Immediate Early 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mark F. Stinski
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Microbiology, College of MedicineUniversity of IowaIowa CityUSA

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