Varicella Zoster Virus (VZV), belongs to the family of herpesviridae. VZV also known as chickenpox virus, varicella virus, zoster virus, and human herpesvirus type 3 (HHV-3) can cause chickenpox (varicella) and shingles (herpes zoster) diseases. Chickenpox mostly affecting children, teens and young adults, while shingles in older adults. VZV is present worldwide and is highly infectious. Human is the only natural host of varicella zoster virus, after the primary infection (varicella), the virus can latent in the spinal sensory ganglion of the host. After many years of recovery from the chickenpox, VZV can be re-activated and performed as herpes zoster.
The varicella zoster virus genome is a linear double-stranded DNA molecule of 124,884 base pairs that encodes at least 71 unique ORFs and related promoter sequences. Linear varicella zoster virus genomes are packaged into an icosahedral nucleocapsid core that is formed from proteins encoded by orf20, orf21, orf23, orf33, orf40 and orf41. A tegument layer, which is a less well-defined structure that is made up of proteins with known or predicted regulatory functions surround the capsids. The outer virion component is a lipid membrane envelope which is derived from cellular membranes with incorporated viral glycoproteins, including gB/gH–gL. There are 6-8 envelope glycoproteins of VZV. Glycoprotein gP1, gP2, gP3 can induce the body to produce neutralizing antibodies. gP1 is the main protein distributed on the surface of the envelope and has the associated epitopes with the virus. The 1,642 bases of gP1 are located in the S fragment of non-repetitive region of the VZV DNA. The content of gP2and gP3 is less than gP1 but they can also be used to produce subunit vaccine. GP2 is important in the early stages of viral infection, it’s related to the virus into the cells, cell fusion, etc. GP3 is associated with the spread of the virus in cells and cells to cells. Please find the structure of VZV shown as in Fig.1.
Fig. 1 Varicella Zoster Virus particle
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