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Chromosomally integrated HHV-6 is a risk factor for angina pectoris

In an article published this month in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Louis Flamand, PhD and his team described a relationship between inherited chromosomally integrated HHV-6 (ciHHV-6) and the development of angina pectoris.  The group studied 113 patients ciHHV6 and found the rate of angina pectoris elevated among individuals with ciHHV-6 occurred was 3.3x greater than that in controls. Inherited ciHHV-6 has been described in the context of heart failure and encephalitis, but this was the first large-scale analysis of disease association with ciHHV-6. The low prevalence of ciHHV-6 (0.58%) limited the team’s ability to find statistically significant results in spite of testing nearly 20,000. Further study is required to look at intriguing trends that did not reach statistical significance. Flamand was able to compare medical records, hematological, biochemical, body measurements as well as telomere lengths compared between those with and without inherited ciHHV-6. READ MORE

HHV-6B-induced neutropenia in primary infection associated with specific chemokines

In an article published in the Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal, Tetsushi Yoshikawa’s team from Fujita Health University School of Medicine determined that the severe neutropenia in primary HHV-6B infection is tied to reduced platelet counts, lower RANTES and higher levels of MCP-1, MIG and IP-10.  These chemokines are known to be strong chemoattractants for activated T cells and monocytes/macrophages, while RANTES is a potent chemoattractant for neutrophils. READ MORE

Joshua Hill awarded a 5-year NIH grant to study HHV-6

Congratulations to Joshua Hill, MD, Acting Instructor at the University of Washington and Research Associate at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, who has won a K23 grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to study HHV-6 in lower respiratory tract disease and chromosomally integrated HHV-6 after stem cell transplantation (SCT). The K23 grant program provides support for career development of investigators who have made a commitment to focus on patient-oriented research. READ MORE

HHV-6 reactivation tied to steroid administration

A large-scale multiplex PCR assay developed by a team in Japan was used to study 13 DNA viruses in 105 allogenic hematopoietic stem cell transplant patients.  They found that patients treated with steroids had a significantly higher risk of HHV-6 reactivation, and that HHV-6 was the only virus tied to the onset of acute GVHD.  Interestingly, HHV-6 reactivation was associated with a more severe stage of skin but not liver or gut aGVHD. READ MORE

HHV-6 induced kidney damage in drug hypersensitivity

A new case study suggests that HHV-6 might play a role in the multi-organ failure that often follows extreme cases of drug hypersensitivity. Although there have been many studies documenting HHV-6 viremia in drug hypersensitivity (DIHS/DRESS) cases, this is the first to examine an affected organ for signs of HHV-6 DNA and proteins. READ MORE

Specific chemokine polymorphism may protect against HHV-6 reactivation and aGVHD in HSCT

In a new study, a genetic polymorphism of chemokine CXCL12 was found to be associated with a lower incidence of acute GVHD. Furthermore patients with this polymorphism or receiving cells with the polymorphism were less prone to early HHV-6 reactivation. READ MORE