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Active ciHHV6 linked to heart failure, a condition treatable by antiviral therapy

A group from one of the largest cardiology clinics in Europe, at Berlin’s renowned Charite Universitatsmedizin, has published a report demonstrating that heart failure patients with active chromosomally integrated HHV-6 (ciHHV-6) can be treated successfully with antivirals.  The comprehensive study, led by Professor Uwe Kühl, systematically analyzed over 1600 endomyocardial biopsies from patients with persistent unexplained symptoms of heart failure for the presence of HHV-6 and ciHHV-6.  The group demonstrated that antiviral treatment in six ciHHV-6 individuals with heart failure eliminated viral transcripts indicative of active HHV-6 replication, and coincided with marked improvement clinical symptoms. READ MORE

Study suggests ciHHV-6A is the dominant virus in malignancy and inflammatory disease, while ciHHV-6B is the dominant virus in myocarditis

Although HHV-6B accounts for >97% of reactivation cases in transplant patients, a new study indicates that ciHHV6A is likely the dominant virus in patients with malignancy. A sequencing study led by Ursula Gompels of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine found that 95% of ciHHV-6 patients with malignancy and inflammatory disease had ciHHV6A, while 65% of ciHHV-6 myocarditis patients had ciHHV-6B. The authors propose that this divergence suggests different disease links for the two viruses. READ MORE

Infants with congenital HHV-6 infection have lower Bayley scores at 12 months

Investigators at the University of Rochester have reported that 57 children born with HHV-6 congenital infection had slightly lower scores on the Bayley Scale of Infant Development at 12 months than matched control children who did not have congenital infection. Pediatric infectious disease specialist Mary T. Caserta (left) completed this study that was begun by her associate, the late Caroline B. Hall (right) to determine the impact of HHV-6 congenital infection. READ MORE

Is there a new HHV-6 animal model on the horizon? Seattle group announces the discovery of novel HHV-6 and HHV-7 homologs in pig-tailed macaques

A partnership between the Center for Global Infectious Disease Research, Seattle Children’s Research Institute, and the University of Washington has led to the discovery of two novel HHV-6 and HHV-7 homologs in pig-tailed macaques that may soon be used as clinical models of roseolovirus infection.  The team, led by Dr. Serge Barcy, identified the virus homologues (named MneHV-6 and MneHV-7) via CODEHOP-based PCR in the saliva of pig-tailed macaques. This study provides the first identification and characterization of two new roseolovirus homologs of HHV-6 and HHV-7 naturally infecting pig-tailed macaques (Macaca nemestrina), one of the major species maintained at the WaNPRC. Pig-tailed macaques are commonly used as “non-human primate” models for biomedical research, since they develop disease pathologies similar to those seen in humans. READ MORE

HHV-6 reactivation lower in pediatric hypersensitivity cases

A group of researchers The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia evaluated HHV-6 in pediatric patients with drug hypersensitivity syndrome (DHS) and found HHV-6 reactivation to be less common than in adult cases of DHS.  They also found that HHV-6+ pediatric DHS patients had longer hospital stays, higher viral loads and more liver and lung involvement. READ MORE

Prevalence of betaherpesviruses in Sub-Saharan Africa

A group led by Matthew Bates through University College London and the University of Zambia has reported that 20.5% of hospitalized infants were positive for HHV-6B, second only to CMV (24.3%). Surprisingly, HHV-6A was found in only 0.3% of patients. The group used Taqman PCR to screen 202 pediatric patients under the age of two. There was a significant correlation between HHV-6B and CMV viremia, with HHV-6B infection increasing the odds of CMV viremia. These results were surprising, as a previous paper from the same group showed a high prevalence of HHV-6A through the utilization of a qualitative PCR assay. READ MORE

UK study reports ciHHV-6 not associated with classical Hodgkin’s lymphoma

While recent studies have suggested HHV-6 is associated with classical Hodgkin’s lymphoma (cHL), results from the largest study, to date, to investigate the prevalence of ciHHV-6 among cHL patients and controls in Scotland, demonstrate that inheritance of ciHHV-6 does not increase the risk of developing this disease. READ MORE

HHV-6 DNA found in the spinal fluid of 8.8% of infants with encephalitis

Investigators led by Jila Yavarian, of Tehran University of Medical Sciences have reported finding HHV-6 DNA in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in 8.8% of 114 suspected of encephalitis. The children presented with symptoms that included convulsions and altered levels of consciousness. All were younger than 13 months and 95 (83.33%) were experiencing their first episode of febrile convulsions, while 19 (16.66%) experienced their second episode. READ MORE