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HHV-6A linked to Thydroiditis, Autoimmune Disease

A group from the University of Ferrara, Italy, has published a study linking HHV-6A to Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis (HT), an autoimmune disorder that is the most common of all thyroid diseases.  The study found that HHV-6 prevalence was detected significantly more frequently among thyroid fine needle aspirates (FNA) from HT individuals than controls (82% vs. 10%, respectively).  In addition, the group demonstrated that thyroid cells infected with both HHV-6A and HHV-6B became susceptible to NK-mediated killing, providing evidence of a potential mechanism for HHV-6-induced autoimmunity. READ MORE

HHV-6 induces oxidative stress and chlamydial persistence

A group from Germany has demonstrated that HHV-6 interferes with the development cycle of Chlamydia trachomatis and induces persistence during co-infection.  They report that HHV-6 caused NADPH accumulation, decreased formation of glutathione, and increased oxidative stress, leading to chlamydial persistence. This work may provide a window into further understanding the role played by HHV-6 in several clinical conditions associated with the glutathione/oxidative stress balance including encephalitis, CFS, and DIHS/DRESS.  READ MORE

Further characterization of HHV-6B immune response leads to development of virus-specific immunotherapy

A group from Baylor has further characterized the clinical HHV-6B immune response, and is using this new information to develop an enhanced adoptive T cell immunotherapy specific to HHV-6 for HSCT patients.  The new study—published in Blood this week—characterizes the cellular immune response to five separate HHV-6B antigens predicted to be immunogenic and identifies three new CD8+ T Cell epitopes, the first described for HHV-6.  READ MORE

HHV-6 active replication genetically linked to poor treatment response among MS patients

A group from San Carlos Hospital in Madrid has published yet another study linking HHV-6 to complications in multiple sclerosis.  In their study of nearly 200 MS patients and 200 controls, a significant difference between patients with active HHV-6 replication and controls was observed for both polymorphisms of MHC2TA, and both MHC2TA and CD46 were increased among MS patients who responded to interferon beta treatment vs. non-responders.  These results reinforce the group’s previous work, which demonstrates that MS patients without HHV-6 active replication are significantly better responders to interferon beta treatment.  READ MORE