Herpesviruses infect their hosts in early life to establish latent or persistent infection with little damage to the host. They are able to reactivate throughout the life of the host and replicate to produce an infective innoculum in the face of a fully primed immune system. They achieve this lifestyle by careful manipulation of the host environment. Here we review two aspects of host defense - apoptosis of infected cells and cytotoxic T cell recognition of infected cells. We discuss avoidance of these host responses by an α-herpesvirus, herpes simplex virus, and a γ-herpesvirus, Epstein-Barr virus.
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