The Herpes family of viruses is a successful one containing over 100 different varieties that affect a wide range of animal species. The word, "Herpes", comes from the ancient Greek word, "Herpein", meaning to creep and reflects these viruses' ability to become latent in various human cells and reactivate themselves later on.
There are eight known human herpes viruses belonging to three sub-families:
a-herpesThere are probably more human herpes viruses because all the known ones are recent discoveries (for example, CMV and VZV in the 1950s, EBV in the 1960s and HHV-6, -7 and -8 in the 1980s). The herpes virus family are of interest to multiple sclerosis because five of this family has been repeatably associated with the disease and almost all herpes viruses have been linked to one autoimmune disease or another.
- Herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1)
Causes oral and occasionally genital cold-sores
- Herpes simplex virus 2 (HSV-2)
Causes genital herpes
- Varicella zoster virus (VZV)
Causes chickenpox and shingles
- Cytomegalovirus (CMV)
Causes mononucleosis-like illness and infections in immuno-supressed indivuals such as people with AIDS and transplant patients.
- Human Herpes Virus 6 (HHV-6)
Causes roseola (a skin rash with associated fever) it is also problematic in immuno-supressed indivuals.
- Human Herpes Virus 7 (HHV-7)
Cuases pityriasis rosea (a skin rash) and mononucleosis-like illness.
- Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)
Causes Infectious mononucleosis (glandular fever) and two forms of cancer only found in the tropics.
- Kaposiís sarcoma herpesvirus (KSHV or HHV-8)
Causes Kaposiís sarcoma a form of skin cancer in immuno-supressed indivuals.
Herpes virus links:
Herpes virus infections
Herpesviruses and Multiple Sclerosis
International Herpes Management Forum (IHMF)
Herpes - The Journal of the IHMF
IHMF - Our Evolving Knowledge of Herpesviruses
IHMF - Herpesviruses: Agents of Acute and Chronic Disease