A number of human and animal herpes viruses encode G-protein coupled receptors with seven transmembrane (7TM) segments - most of which are clearly related to human chemokine receptors. It appears, that these receptors are used by the virus for immune evasion, cellular transformation, tissue targeting, and possibly for cell entry. In addition, many virally-encoded chemokine 7TM receptors have been suggested to be causally involved in pathogenic phenotypes like Kaposi sarcoma, atherosclerosis, HIV-infection and tumour development. The role of these receptors during the viral life cycle and in viral pathogenesis is still poorly understood. Here we focus on the current knowledge of structure, function and trafficking patterns of virally encoded chemokine receptors and further address the putative roles of these receptors in virus survival and host -cell and/or -immune system modulation. Finally, we highlight the emerging impact of these receptor on virus-mediated diseases. © 2008 Nature Publishing Group All rights reserved.