Human Herpes (HHV) and Herpes Simplex (HSV) Viral Infections

Human Herpes (HHV) and Herpes Simplex (HSV) Viral Infections

There are eight types of herpes viruses known to affect humans

They are called the Herpes Human Viruses (HHV). There are two types of Herpes Simplex viruses: HSV 1- Oral lesions, HSV 2 - Genital lesions

  1. HSV 1 - Oral lesions (tongue, lips etc.)
  2. HSV 2 - Genital lesions (vulva, vagina, cervix, glans, prepuce, and penile shaft)
  3. HHV 3 - VZV (Varicella Zoster Virus commonly known as chickenpox or shingles)
  4. HHV 4 - EBV (Ebstein Barr Virus is commonly known as infectious mononucleosis [mono or glandular fever])
  5. HHV 5 - CMV (Cytomegolo Virus is the most common virus transmitted to a pregnant woman's unborn child)
  6. HHV 6 - Roseolovirus is more commonly known as the 6th disease or Roseola Infantum
  7. HHV 7 - Similar to HHV6 (not yet classified)
  8. HHV 8 - A type of rhadinovirus known as the Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV)

After initial infection, all herpesviruses remain latent within specific host cells and may subsequently reactivate. Herpesviruses do not survive long outside a host; thus, transmission usually requires intimate contact, although varicella-zoster virus (VZV) may spread by aerosol. In people with latent infection, the virus can reactivate without causing symptoms; in such cases, asymptomatic shedding occurs and people can transmit infection. Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and human herpesvirus type 8 (HHV-8), also known as Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV), can cause certain cancers.

Comparison Table of Human Herpesvirus Infections

Human herpesvirus 1 Gingivostomatitis, keratoconjunctivitis, cutaneous herpes, genital herpes, encephalitis, herpes labialis, esophagitis*, pneumonia*, hepatitis* ,
Herpes simplex virus type 2 Human herpesvirus 2

Genital herpes, cutaneous herpes, gingivostomatitis, neonatal herpes, aseptic meningitis, disseminated infection*, hepatitis* ,

Varicella-zoster virus

Human herpesvirus 3

Chickenpox, herpes zoster, disseminated herpes zoster*

Human herpesvirus 4

Infectious mononucleosis, hepatitis, encephalitis, nasopharyngeal carcinoma, Hodgkin lymphoma, Burkitt lymphoma, lymphoproliferative syndromes*, oral hairy leukoplakia*

Human herpesvirus 5

Infectious mononucleosis, hepatitis, congenital cytomegalic inclusion disease, hepatitis*, retinitis*, pneumonia*, colitis*

Roseola infantum, otitis media with fever; encephalitis

Roseola infantum

Human herpesvirus 8

Not a known cause of acute illness but has a causative role in Kaposi sarcoma* and AIDS-related non-Hodgkin lymphomas that grow primarily in the pleural, pericardial, or abdominal cavities as lymphomatous effusions

Also linked with multicentric Castleman disease

*In immunocompromised hosts.

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