Subfamily: Alphaherpesvirinae

Genus: Mardivirus


Distinguishing features

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


See discussion under family description

Genome organization and replication

See discussion under family and subfamily description


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 Mardivirus gallidalpha2) is highly contagious in chickens and is associated with malignancy. For MDV, gallid herpesvirus 3 (GaAHV3 in the species Mardivirus gallidalpha3) and turkey herpesvirus (HVT in the species Mardivirus meleagridalpha1), production of infectious extracellular virus occurs in the feather-follicle epithelium. 


Members may cross-react serologically. 

Species demarcation criteria

See discussion under family description