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Scientific Name Host Common Name

Classified Cytomegaloviruses

Human herpesvirus 5 (HHV-5)
Cercopithecine herpesvirus 5 (CeHV-5)
Cercopithecine herpesvirus 8 (CeHV-8)
Panine herpesvirus 2 (PaHV-2)
Pongine herpesvirus 4 (PoHV-4)

African green monkey
Rhesus monkey

Human CMV (HCMV)
Simian CMV (SCCMV)
Rhesus CMV (RhCMV)
Chimpanzee CMV (CCMV)

Unclassified Cytomegaloviruses

Primate CMVs
Aotine herpesvirus 1 (AoHV-1)
Aotine herpesvirus 3 (AoHV-3)
Baboon cytomegalovirus
Cercocebus agilis cytomegalovirus 1
Cercopithecus cephus cytomegalovirus 1
Colobus badius cytomegalovirus 1
Colobus guereza cytomegalovirus 1
Gorilla gorilla cytomegalovirus 1.1
Gorilla gorilla cytomegalovirus 2.1
Gorilla gorilla cytomegalovirus 2.2
Macaca fascicularis cytomegalovirus 1
Mandrillus cytomegalovirus
Pan troglodytes cytomegalovirus 1.1
Pan troglodytes cytomegalovirus 1.2
Pan troglodytes cytomegalovirus 2.1
Pan troglodytes cytomegalovirus 2.2
Pan troglodytes cytomegalovirus 2.3
Pongo pygmaeus cytomegalovirus 1
Pongo pygmaeus cytomegalovirus 1.2
Simian cytomegalovirus
Squirrel monkey cytomegalovirus 1

Rodent CMVs
Apodemus flavicollis cytomegalovirus 1
Apodemus flavicollis cytomegalovirus 2
Apodemus flavicollis cytomegalovirus 3
Apodemus sylvaticus cytomegalovirus 1
Arvicola terrestris cytomegalovirus 1
Bandicota indica cytomegalovirus 1
Bandicota indica cytomegalovirus 2
Bandicota indica cytomegalovirus 3
Bandicota indica cytomegalovirus 4
Crocidura russula cytomegalovirus 1
Microtus agrestis cytomegalovirus 1
Microtus arvalis cytomegalovirus 1
Mus cervicolor cytomegalovirus 1
Mus musculus cytomegalovirus 2
Myodes glareolus cytomegalovirus 1
Ondatra zibethicus cytomegalovirus 1
Rattus exulans cytomegalovirus 1
Rattus rattus cytomegalovirus 1
Rattus tiomanicus cytomegalovirus 1

Other host species CMVs
Cytomegalovirus Eptesicus fuscus/IT/USA/2009
Phacochoerus africanus cytomegalovirus 1
Porcine cytomegalovirus

Night monkey
Agile Mangabey
Moustached Monkey
Western Red Colobus
Mantled Guereza
Crab-eating Macaque
New World monkey
Squirrel monkey

Yellow-necked Mouse
Wood mouse
European Water Vole
Greater Bandicoot Rat
Greater White-toothed Shrew
Field vole
Common Vole
Fawn-colored Mouse
House mouse
Bank vole
Polynesian Rat
Black rat
Malayan Field Rat

Big brown bat

Miscellaneous facts[edit]


  • The IFN-alpha family represents a family of related and homologous proteins, each exhibiting a unique activity profile. Each IFN-a species seems to exhibit a distinct profile of activities [antiviral, antiproliferative, and stimulation of cytotoxic activities of natural killer (NK) cells and T cells]
  • For the most part, the IFN-alpha species are not glycosylated, although some contain carbohydrates.
  • Within each subtype of mammalian Type I IFN, there is additional variability in gene duplication. The IFN-a genes are duplicated to a much greater extent than any other subtype of Type I IFN. This observation in conjunction with the observation that the IFN-a subtypes generally possess the highest specific antiviral activity imply that physiologically, the body likely uses IFN-a as the primary antiviral defense protein and that the major function of IFN-a is defense.


  • STRUCTURE: The Type I IFNs consist of five a-helices (labeled A–E) which are linked by one overhand loop (AB loop) and three shorter segments (BC, CD, and DE loops). Helices A, B, C, and E are arranged in an antiparallel fashion to form a left-handed four-helix bundle. The AB loop contains short segments of 3_10 helix and is best described in three segments labeled AB1, AB2, and AB3. In all Type I IFNs, the AB1 loop encircles and is linked to helix E by a disulfide bond. An additional disulfide bond is observed in most IFN-a subtypes but not IFN-b, which connects the N-terminus of the molecule to helix C. The AB loop is critical for high-affinity IFNAR2 binding and suggest that sequence differences in this region may hold the key to differences in biological activity between the different IFN-a subtypes.
  • IFNa2 contain 165 amino acids; according to circular dichroism measurements ~68% of the residues adopt helical conformation.INFa2 is composed of five a-helices, labeled A–E, linked by one long overhand connection (AB loop) and three short segments (BC, CD and DE loops). The topology of the molecule resembles the classical up-up-down-down four-helixbundle motif; helices A, B, C, and E comprise the helix bundle.


  • The IFNs and IFN-like molecules signal through the Jak-Stat pathway. The receptor for the Type I IFNs consists of two chains, IFN-aR1 and IFN-aR2c. The ligand INF-alpha is a monomer that binds to the two-chain complex of IFN-aR1 and INF-aR2c.


  • Type I IFNs are stable at acidic pH (pH 2) and are represented by two major subtypes, the fibroblast or beta interferon (IFN-b) and the leukocyte or alpha family of interferons (IFN-a).

The only known interferon of type II is IFN-g, which is produced exclusively by lymphocytes.

  • Interferon is species-specific: the substance prepared from infected eggs protected only chicken cells from virus infection, while the similar substance prepared from mice protected only mouse cells.

  • Produced by many cells in the human body by a receptor dependent feedback mechanism.

  • Interferons are part of the "first-wave" immune response of the innate immune system, acting within hours, whereas antibody production takes days.

  • In general, exposure of human cells to viruses or double stranded RNAs induces the production of IFN-a, IFN-b, and IFN-o species.

  • The IFNs were the first of the proteins we now recognize as members of the Class II cytokine family.