Facebook icon Forward icon

Baylor’s immunotherapy technique found effective in a small clinical trial

Baylor College of Medicine’s Center for Cell and Gene Therapy has demonstrated a way to quickly generate antiviral T cells for the treatment of opportunistic viral infections, and recently reported successful results in a small clinical trial. Their novel therapy utilizes synthetic peptides to generate single T cell lines from stem cell donors, which consistently have specificity for up to five viruses (AdV, EBV, CMV, BKV, and HHV6) representing the most frequent causes of viral morbidity and mortality after HSCT. When administered to 11 recipients of allogeneic transplants, 8 of whom had up to four active infections with the targeted viruses, these virus-specific T cells proved safe in all subjects and produced an overall 94% virological and clinical response rate that was sustained long-term.   READ MORE

Pityriasis rosea, HHV-6, and the increased risk of miscarriage

Pityriasis rosea (PR) is an acute rash associated with HHV-6 & 7 reactivation. According to a group of dermatologists in Italy, a suprising 62% of women who developed PR early in their pregnancies miscarried, and HHV-6 DNA was found in fetal tissue of 3 out of 4 stillborns tested.  The investigators, from University of Milano-Bicocca, Italy, studied 61 women who developed PR during pregnancy; 22 of them had adverse outcomes including 8 miscarriages. They were able to assess 14 of the patients and four of the aborted fetuses for HHV-6 and 7 DNA.  HHV-6 DNA was found in the plasma, the placenta, lesions and fetal tissue of 3 out of 4 PR patients with stillborns.  READ MORE

HHV-6 associated with ‘fever of unknown origin’ and cough in pediatric patients

A Chinese study found HHV-6 DNA in whole blood samples from children with unexplained fever at significantly higher levels than in patients without fever. In addition, HHV-6 DNAemia was clinically associated with a cough, when compared to controls. The percentage with EBV DNAemia was also elevated in children with FUO, and both EBV and HHV-7 were found to be clinically associated with hepatitis.  READ MORE

HHV-6 acute lymphadenitis in immunocompetent patients

A new case report describes a case of HHV-6 acute lymphadenitis in an immunocompetent patient, and reviews several other case reports of this condition.  Although most viral lymphadenopathy is caused by EBV infection, CMV and HHV-6 are rare causes of mononucleosis in approximately 5% of cases.  The report describes a 60-year-old man with 10-day history of fever, generalized lymphadenopathy, and sore throat.  Upon biopsy, the cervical lymph node showed diffuse paracortical expansion and scattered large atypical lymphoid cells with large nucleus and eosinophilic nucleoli, resembling immunoblasts. Furthermore, intranuclear eosinophilic viral inclusions were identified. Immunohistochemical analysis demonstrated that the large atypical lymphoid cells were positive for CD3 and CD4, consistent with a previous case report identifying the HHV-6 virus predominantly in CD4 positive T lymphocytes by electron microscopy.  READ MORE

More details emerge on the interaction between HHV-6B and its newly discovered cellular receptor, CD134

After discovering a novel human receptor (CD134) used by HHV-6B for cellular entry last year, Dr. Yasuko Mori’s group at Kobe University Graduate School of Medicine in Japan has released additional details regarding the interaction of HHV-6B its newly described receptor.  In an article published in the Journal of Virology earlier this month, the group shows that a cysteine-rich domain (CRD2) of CD134 is critical for binding to the HHV-6B glycoprotein complex, and is required for HHV-6B infection.  Furthermore, the group shows that the expression of HHV-6B gQ1 and gQ2 subunits is sufficient for CD134 binding, which is different from the binding of HHV-6A to its receptor, CD46. The group has also outlined the use of a particular region in the HHV-6B gQ1 subunit that is critical for its proper function.  READ MORE