Viruses of the genus Roseolovirus belong to the subfamily Betaherpesvirinae, family Herpesviridae. Roseoloviruses have been studied in humans, mice and pigs, but they are likely also present in other species. This is the first comparative analysis of roseoloviruses in humans and animals. The human roseoloviruses human herpesvirus 6A (HHV-6A), 6B (HHV-6B), and 7 (HHV-7) are relatively well characterized. In contrast, little is known about the murine roseolovirus (MRV), also known as murine thymic virus (MTV) or murine thymic lymphotrophic virus (MTLV), and the porcine roseolovirus (PRV), initially incorrectly named porcine cytomegalovirus (PCMV). Human roseoloviruses have gained attention because they can cause severe diseases including encephalitis in immunocompromised transplant and AIDS patients and febrile seizures in infants. They have been linked to a number of neurological diseases in the immunocompetent including multiple sclerosis (MS) and Alzheimer’s. However, to prove the causality in the latter disease associations is challenging due to the high prevalence of these viruses in the human population. PCMV/PRV has attracted attention because it may be transmitted and pose a risk in xenotransplantation, e.g., the transplantation of pig organs into humans. Most importantly, all roseoloviruses are immunosuppressive, the humoral and cellular immune responses against these viruses are not well studied and vaccines as well as effective antivirals are not available.
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