It is clear that a number of host-cell factors facilitate virus replication and, conversely, a number of other factors possess inherent antiviral activity. Research, particularly over the last decade or so, has revealed that there is a complex inter-relationship between viral infection and the host-cell DNA-damage response and repair pathways. There is now a realization that viruses can selectively activate and/or repress specific components of these host-cell pathways in a temporally coordinated manner, in order to promote virus replication. Thus, some viruses, such as simian virus 40, require active DNA-repair pathways for optimal virus replication, whereas others, such as adenovirus, go to considerable lengths to inactivate some pathways. Although there is ever-increasing molecular insight into how viruses interact with host-cell damage pathways, the precise molecular roles of these pathways in virus life cycles is not well understood. The object of this review is to consider how DNA viruses have evolved to manage the function of three principal DNA damage-response pathways controlled by the three phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)-related protein kinases ATM, ATR and DNA-PK and to explore further how virus interactions with these pathways promote virus replication.