Epstein-Barr virus, which mainly infects B cells and epithelial cells, has two modes of infection: latent and lytic. Epstein-Barr virus infection is predominantly latent; however, lytic infection is detected in healthy seropositive individuals and becomes more prominent in certain pathological conditions. Lytic infection is divided into several stages: early gene expression, DNA replication, late gene expression, assembly, and egress. This chapter summarizes the most recent progress made toward understanding the molecular mechanisms that regulate the different lytic stages leading to production of viral progeny. In addition, the chapter highlights the potential role of lytic infection in disease development and current attempts to purposely induce lytic infection as a therapeutic approach.
Keywords: BZLF1; DNA methylation; EBV DNA replication; EBV-associated diseases; Lytic infection; Oncolytic.