Introduction

The three most common types of herpes viruses that infect humans are the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), herpes simplex virus types 1 (HSV-1) and 2 (HSV-2), and herpes zoster virus (HZV), more properly called the varicella zoster virus (VZV). All three have a DNA genomic core encased in a nucleocapsid surrounded by the viral envelope, but each produces different clinical manifestations. A common feature shared by all three viruses is the ability either to persist in a nonreplicating state in specific cells or to replicate, thereby producing secondary disease or asymptomatic viral shedding.

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