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Humanized mouse model demonstrates HHV-6A infection can cause significant immune dysfunction

Could treatment of HHV-6A co-infections slow AIDS progression?

A group led by Dr. Bradford Berges from Brigham Young University infected humanized mice with HHV-6A and demonstrated evidence for both acute and persistent infection, indicating a new model to study HHV-6A infection in vivo, according to a new report published in Journal of Virology. Infection was accompanied by depletion of specific thymocyte populations as well as detection of elevated levels of CD4+CD8+ T cells in blood. Human herpesvirus 6A (HHV-6A) infects helper T cells and has been suggested to act as a co-factor in AIDS progression. These findings provide additional evidence that HHV-6A infection has a significant impact on human T cell populations in vivo.  READ MORE

Human herpesvirus replication is activated by apoptosis

A group led by Steven Zeichner, Phd at the Center for Cancer and Immunology Research, Children’s Research Institute, and Children’s National Medical Center has published a study this month in the Journal of Virology that suggests the replication of all human herpesviruses can be activated by apoptosis.  This finding has important clinical implications, because it suggests that some treatments designed to promote apoptosis as a mechanism of action may lead to the inadvertent activation of latent herpesviruses.  READ MORE

Serum IL-10 and MCP-1 found elevated in patients with HHV-6B encephalopathy.

A group led by Tetsushi Yoshikawa from Fujita Health University School of Medicine has identified several cytokine and chemokine responses associated with HHV-6B encephalopathy associated with exanthema subitum.  The group set out to study the subset of HHV-6B encephalopathy with biphasic seizures and late reduced diffusion, a presentation that has become increasingly common among various types of HHV-6B encephalopathy at the time of primary viral infection.  READ MORE

Preliminary evidence indicates HHV-6B may be involved in the sporadic development of adenomatous GI Polyps

A group from Finland’s Helsinki University Hospital has published preliminary evidence to suggest HHV-6B may be involved in the development of adenomatous gastrointestinal polyps. HHV-6B antigen expression (determined via IHC) on mucosal biopsies was found to be strongly positive in five of eight patients with adenomas and negative in all patients without adenoma. In addition, HHV-6 DNA was detected (via ISH) in seven of the eight adenomatous polyps, most intensely in the tubulovillous adenoma, and negative in all three mucosal biopsies of patients without adenoma.  READ MORE

DRESS and Thyroiditis: is HHV-6 the common link?

Many DRESS patients subsequently develop autoimmune diseases such as lupus and thyroiditis.  Dermatologist Vincent Descamps describes two case reports of DRESS-related thyroiditis with very high levels of HHV-6 reactivation in a commentary published this month in the British Journal of Dermatology.  In both cases, the patients developed thyroid dysfunction and anti-thyroid antibodies several months after successful treatment with corticosteroids.  READ MORE