Subfamily: Alphaherpesvirinae

Genus: Mardivirus

 

Distinguishing features

The predicted amino acid sequences of members form a distinct lineage within the subfamily (Figure 1. Alphaherpesvirinae). 

Virion

See discussion under family description

Genome organization and replication

See discussion under family and subfamily description

Biology

Members have birds as hosts, and are best known for their effects on domesticated poultry such as chickens. Marek’s disease virus (MDV in the species Gallid alphaherpesvirus 2) is highly contagious in chickens and is associated with malignancy. For MDV, gallid herpesvirus 3 (GaAHV3 in the species Gallid alphaherpesvirus 3) and turkey herpesvirus (HVT in the species Meleagrid alphaherpesvirus 1), production of infectious extracellular virus occurs in the feather-follicle epithelium. 

Antigenicity

Members may cross-react serologically. 

Species demarcation criteria

See discussion under family description