Enveloped, brick-shaped about 320×250x200nm. Two distinct infectious virus particles exists: the intracellular mature virus (IMV) and the extracellular enveloped virus (EEV).
Linear, dsDNA genome about 190kb. The linear genome is flanked by inverted terminal repeat (ITR) sequences which are covalently-closed at their extremities.
Molluscum contagiosum virus strain subtype 1 genome at Poxvirus Bioinformatics Ressource center
- Attachement of the viral proteins to host glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) mediates endocytosis of the virus into the host cell.
- Fusion with the plasma membrane to release the core into the host cytoplasm.
- Early phase: early genes are transcribed in the cytoplasm by viral RNA polymerase. Early expression begins at 30 minutes post-infection.
- Core is completely uncoated as early expression ends, viral genome is now free in the cytoplasm.
- Intermediate phase: Intermediate genes are expressed, triggering genomic DNA replication at approximately 100 minutes post-infection.
- Late phase: Late genes are expressed from 140 min to 48 hours post-infection, producing all structural proteins.
- Assembly of progeny virions starts in cytoplasmic viral factories, producing an spherical immature particle. This virus particle matures into brick-shaped intracellular mature virion (IMV).
- IMV virion can be released upon cell lysis, or can acquire a second double membrane from trans-Golgi and bud as external enveloped virion (EEV).