Genus: Simplexvirus

Genus: Simplexvirus

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

Members have a class 4 genome architecture (Figure 2.Herpesviridae and Figure 3.Herpesviridae). Among the human viruses in this genus, herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV1 in the species Human alphaherpesvirus 1) displays greater intraspecies diversity than herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV2 in the species Human alphaherpesvirus 2) (Szpara et al., 2014, Pfaff et al., 2016, Johnston et al., 2017, Akhtar et al., 2019). Interspecies recombinants between HSV1 and HSV2 have been detected in clinical specimens (Burrel et al., 2017, Koelle et al., 2017).


Members have mammals, mostly primates, as hosts. The most common symptoms of HSV1 and HSV2 infection are watery blisters in the skin or mucous membranes of the mouth (cold sores) or genitals (genital herpes), respectively. Latent infection is established in neurons, and reactivation of latent virus may occur to produce recurrent symptoms. Antigenicity Members may cross-react serologically.

Species demarcation criteria

See discussion under family description.

Member species

Exemplar isolate of the species
SpeciesVirus nameIsolateAccession numberRefSeq numberAvailable sequenceVirus Abbrev.
Ateline alphaherpesvirus 1ateline alphaherpesvirus 1; herpesvirus ateles 1LennetteKY385637NC_034446Complete genomeAtAHV1; HVA1
Bovine alphaherpesvirus 2bovine alphaherpesvirus 2; bovine mammillitis virusC1Z FZRMT862163Complete genomeBoAHV2; BMV
Cercopithecine alphaherpesvirus 2cercopithecine alphaherpesvirus 2; simian agent 8B264AY714813NC_006560Complete genomeCeAHV2; SA8
Human alphaherpesvirus 1human alphaherpesvirus 1; herpes simplex virus type 117JN555585NC_001806Complete genomeHuAHV1; HSV1
Human alphaherpesvirus 2human alphaherpesvirus 2; herpes simplex virus type 2HG52JN561323NC_001798Complete genomeHuAHV2; HSV2
Leporid alphaherpesvirus 4leporid alphaherpesvirus 4; leporid herpesvirus 4LHV4012612JQ596859NC_029311Complete genomeLeAHV4; LHV4
Macacine alphaherpesvirus 1macacine alphaherpesvirus 1; B-virusE2490AF533768NC_004812Complete genomeMcAHV1; BV
Macacine alphaherpesvirus 2macacine alphaherpesvirus 2; lion-tailed macaque herpesvirus 18100812KY628968Complete genomeMcAHV2
Macacine alphaherpesvirus 3macacine alphaherpesvirus 3; pig-tailed macaque herpesvirus 1KQKY628970Complete genomeMcAHV3
Macropodid alphaherpesvirus 1macropodid alphaherpesvirus 1; Parma wallaby herpesvirusMaHV1.3076/08KT594769NC_029132Complete genomeMaAHV1
Macropodid alphaherpesvirus 2macropodid alphaherpesvirus 2; Dorcopsis wallaby herpesvirusV3077/08MT900475Complete genomeMaAHV2
Panine alphaherpesvirus 3panine alphaherpesvirus 3; chimpanzee herpesvirus105640JQ360576NC_023677Complete genomePnAHV3; ChHV
Papiine alphaherpesvirus 2papiine alphaherpesvirus 2; herpesvirus papio 2X313DQ149153NC_007653Complete genomePaAHV2; HPV2
Pteropodid alphaherpesvirus 1pteropodid alphaherpesvirus 1; fruit bat alphaherpesvirus 1AB825953NC_024306Complete genomePtHAV1; FBAHV1
Saimiriine alphaherpesvirus 1saimiriine alphaherpesvirus 1; herpesvirus saimiri 1MV 5-4HM625781NC_014567Complete genomeSaAHV1; HVS1

Virus names, the choice of exemplar isolates, and virus abbreviations, are not official ICTV designations.