All herpesviruses share a characteristic ability to remain latent within the body over long periods. Although they may be found throughout the body, CMV infections are frequently associated with the salivary glands in humans and other mammals. Other CMV viruses are found in several mammal species, but species isolated from animals differ from HCMV in terms of genomic structure, and have not been reported to cause human disease.
Viruses in Cytomegalovirus are enveloped, with icosahedral, Spherical to pleomorphic, and Round geometries, and T=16 symmetry. The diameter is around 150-200 nm. Genomes are linear and non-segmented, around 200kb in length.
Viral replication is nuclear, and is lysogenic. Entry into the host cell is achieved by attachment of the viral glycoproteins to host receptors, which mediates endocytosis. Replication follows the dsDNA bidirectional replication model. DNA templated transcription, with some alternative splicing mechanism is the method of transcription. Translation takes place by leaky scanning. The virus exits the host cell by nuclear egress, and budding. Human and monkeys serve as the natural host. Transmission routes are contact, urine, and saliva.
The CMV promoter is commonly included in vectors used in genetic engineering work conducted in mammalian cells, as it is a strong promoter and drives constitutive expression of genes under its control.
^ abRyan KJ, Ray CG (editors) (2004). Sherris Medical Microbiology (4th ed.). McGraw Hill. pp. 556; 566–9. ISBN0-8385-8529-9.
^ abcKoichi Yamanishi; Arvin, Ann M.; Gabriella Campadelli-Fiume; Edward Mocarski; Moore, Patrick; Roizman, Bernard; Whitley, Richard (2007). Human herpesviruses: biology, therapy, and immunoprophylaxis. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. ISBN0-521-82714-0.