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Herpes simplex virus infects most cell types in vitro: clues to its success

Ghadah A Karasneh12 and Deepak Shukla12*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago, College of Medicine, (1855 W. Taylor), Chicago, IL (60612), USA

2 Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Illinois at Chicago, College of Medicine, Chicago, (835 S. Wolcott) IL (60612), USA

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Virology Journal 2011, 8:481  doi:10.1186/1743-422X-8-481

Published: 26 October 2011


Herpes simplex virus (HSV) type-1 and type-2 have evolved numerous strategies to infect a wide range of hosts and cell types. The result is a very successful prevalence of the virus in the human population infecting 40-80% of people worldwide. HSV entry into host cell is a multistep process that involves the interaction of the viral glycoproteins with various cell surface receptors. Based on the cell type, HSV enter into host cell using different modes of entry. The combination of various receptors and entry modes has resulted in a virus that is capable of infecting virtually all cell types. Identifying the common rate limiting steps of the infection may help the development of antiviral agents that are capable of preventing the virus entry into host cell. In this review we describe the major features of HSV entry that have contributed to the wide susceptibility of cells to HSV infection.

Herpes simplex virus (HSV) type-1 and type-2; HSV entry; Receptors