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Virus classification e
(unranked): Virus
Realm: Duplodnaviria
Kingdom: Heunggongvirae
Phylum: Peploviricota
Class: Herviviricetes
Order: Herpesvirales
Family: Herpesviridae
Subfamily: Alphaherpesvirinae
Genus: Varicellovirus

See text

Varicellovirus (var′i-sel′ō-vi′rŭs) is a genus of viruses belonging to subfamily Alphaherpesvirinae, a member of family Herpesviridae. Humans and other mammals serve as natural hosts. There are 19 species in this genus. Diseases associated with this genus include: HHV-3—chickenpox (varicella) and shingles; BoHV-1—infectious bovine rhinotracheitis/infectious pustular vulvovaginitis (IPV); SuHV-1 (also known as pseudorabies virus)—Aujesky's disease characterized by central nervous system signs (hindleg paralysis, meningoencephalitis), high mortality rates in young animals, and respiratory illness in older pigs.[2][3]


The genus consists of the following 19 species:[3]


As with other alphaherpesviruses, the virus particle has a layered structure: Virions consist of an envelope, a tegument, a nucleocapsid, and a core. Tegument is disordered; they do not display a structure and proteins in variable amounts are arranged sometimes in an asymmetric layer located between envelope and capsid. The viral capsid is contained within a spherical envelope which is 120–200 nm in diameter. Surface projections on envelope (viral receptors) are densely dispersed and contain small spikes that evenly dot the surface.

The capsid/nucleocapsid is round with triangulation number T=16 and exhibits icosahedral symmetry. The capsid is isometric and has a diameter of 100–110 nm.[2] The capsid consists of 162 capsomer proteins with a hexagonal base and a hole running halfway down the long axis. The core consists of a fibrillar spool on which the DNA is wrapped. The end of the fibers are anchored to the underside of the capsid shell.[4] It is a double-stranded enveloped DNA virus

Genus Structure Symmetry Capsid Genomic arrangement Genomic segmentation
Varicellovirus Spherical Pleomorphic T=16 Enveloped Linear Monopartite

Life cycle[edit]

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. The virus exits the host cell by nuclear egress, and budding.[2] Humans and mammals serve as the natural host.[2] Only one member of the Varicellovirus genus, Varicella zoster virus (HHV-3) infects Homo sapiens (humans).[5]

Genus Host details Tissue tropism Entry details Release details Replication site Assembly site Transmission
Varicellovirus Mammals Epithelial mucosa Glycoprotiens Budding Nucleus Nucleus Aerosol


  1. ^ "Virus Taxonomy". International Committee on the Taxonomy of Viruses. Retrieved 8 January 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d "Viral Zone". ExPASy. Retrieved 15 June 2015.
  3. ^ a b "Virus Taxonomy: 2020 Release". International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV). March 2021. Retrieved 10 May 2021.
  4. ^ ICTVdB—The Universal Virus Database, version 4.
  5. ^ Davison AJ (2002). "Evolution of the herpesviruses". Vet. Microbiol. 86 (1–2): 69–88. doi:10.1016/s0378-1135(01)00492-8. PMID 11888691.

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