last updated 22-05-2024

Herpes replicative cycle

Herpes virus

Herpes viruses have an envelope and carry DNA in the capsid. Their replication begins with recognition by the host cell and is followed by fusion of the envelope with the cell membrane and release of the nucleocapsid. Inside the host cell, the nucleocapsid fuses with the nuclear membrane.

Inside the nucleus the viral DNA is transcribed and replicated via viral DNA polymerase. In the meantime viral proteins are synthesized and assembly occurs in the nucleus. The nuclear membrane is used as envelope. The new viruses are released via exocytosis or by lysis of the host cell.


The genetic material of the herpes virus is integrated in the genome of the host cell.


HSV1, Epstein-Barr virus and cytomegalovirus are all classified in the group of herpes viruses.