Harley, John P. Department of Biological Sciences, Eastern Kentucky University, Richmond, Kentucky.
Last reviewed:July 2017
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- Infection, prevalence, and clinical overview
- Cytomegalovirus disease
- Signs and symptoms in infants
- Laboratory diagnosis
- Treatment and management
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
A common asymptomatic invasion of the body by the cytomegalovirus, which can produce life-threatening illness in the immature fetus and in immunologically deficient subjects. Although asymptomatic in most individuals, cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection (Fig. 1) can lead to a serious condition known as cytomegalovirus inclusion body disease. It is caused by the human cytomegalovirus (human herpesvirus 5), which is a member of the herpesvirus family (Herpesviridae). Cytomegalovirus is a double-stranded deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) virus with an icosahedral capsid (the protein coat that surrounds the DNA). Other members of the herpesvirus family include herpes simplex types 1 and 2 (which cause genital herpes), varicella-zoster virus (which causes chickenpox and shingles), and the Epstein-Barr virus (which causes mononucleosis). All of these viruses share a characteristic ability to establish lifelong latency. See also: Animal virus; Chickenpox and shingles; Epstein-Barr virus; Herpes; Infection; Virus; Virus classification
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