Gammaherpesviruses are lymphotropic viruses that are associated with the development of lymphoproliferative diseases, lymphomas, as well as other nonlymphoid cancers. Most known gammaherpesviruses establish latency in B lymphocytes. Research on Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and murine gammaherpesvirus 68 (MHV68/γHV68/MHV4) has revealed a complex relationship between virus latency and the stage of B cell differentiation. Available data support a model in which gammaherpesvirus infection drives B cell proliferation and differentiation. In general, the characterized gammaherpesviruses exhibit a very narrow host tropism, which has severely limited studies on the human gammaherpesviruses EBV and Kaposi's sarcoma–associated herpesvirus. As such, there has been significant interest in developing animal models in which the pathogenesis of gammaherpesviruses can be characterized. MHV68 represents a unique model to define the effects of chronic viral infection on the antiviral immune response.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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