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HHV-6 identified as a common pathogen in ”idiopathic” pneumonia

High dose steroids increase the risk of mortality.

A pivotal study, led by Michael Boeckh at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, has determined that occult infections contribute to 57% of all cases of “idiopathic” pneumonia syndrome (IPS), a condition previously assumed to be non-infectious.  HHV-6 was the dominant pathogen representing 29% of cases. Steroid administration increased the risk of mortality from lung disease 6.8 fold. READ MORE.

Pathogenic role for HHV-6B in in mesial temporal lobe epilepsy

Interview with Tetsushi Yoshikawa on treating HHV-6B induced seizures

Tetsushi Yoshikawa and Yoshiki Kawamura published findings suggesting that HHV-6B plays a pathogenic role in epilepsy by enhancing gene expression that causes sclerosis in the temporal lobe. HHV-6 DNA levels were significantly higher in the resected tissue of epilepsy patients with sclerosis compared to those without it. Furthermore, a pro-inflammatory chemokine, monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP-1) was significantly increased in HHV-6 positive compared to negative brain samples. READ MORE

ciHHV-6 found in pediatric adrenocortical tumors

Emilia Pinto and colleagues at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis reported in Nature Communications that chromosomally integrated HHV-6 was found in 2 of 37 (5.47%) pediatric adrenocortical tumors. Furthermore, the site of integration was chromosome 11p, a chromosome that plays an important role in the adrenocortical tumors. READ MORE

ICU patients with HHV-6 & CMV co-reactivation have poor outcome: 7.5x more likely to die

Intensive care (ICU) patients with co-infections of HHV-6 and CMV are 7.5x more likely to die or have an extended stay in the hospital. On the other hand, single infections with either HHV-6 or CMV did not significantly impact outcome, according to investigators at the University of Washington who studied viremia in 115 acutely ill adults. READ MORE

Elevated levels of HHV-6 DNA in Alzheimer's Disease linked to variants in antiviral genes

A group from Italy’s University of Bologna report that genetic defects in antimicrobial defense mechanisms can leave some vulnerable to sub-clinical infections that lead to cognitive decline as they age. They found variations in specific antiviral genes that correlate with HHV-6 DNA levels in brain tissue from patients with Alzheimer’s disease. READ MORE.

Epstein-Barr Virus and Human herpes virus 6 Type A DNA Enhance IL-17 Production in Mice.

Since both HHV-6 and EBV have been associated with an increased risk of autoimmune disease, a group at the American University of Beirut studied whether viral DNA might be capable of triggering IL-17, a cytokine associated with autoimmune disease. They injected BALB/c mice intraperitoneally with either EBV or HHV-6A DNA and found that both  IL-17 and IL-23 were markedly elevated. READ MORE.