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Pediatr Transplant. 2003 Feb;7(1):11-7.

Human herpesvirus-6 and -7 infections in transplantation.

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  • 1Laboratory of Virology, Research Institute for Disease Mechanism and Control, Nagoya University School of Medicine, Nagoya, Japan.


Human herpesvirus-6 (HHV-6) and human herpesvirus-7 (HHV-7) are ubiquitous in the human population and cause exanthem subitum, a benign disease seen in infancy. The viruses remain latent in the body after primary infection, and reactivate in immunocompromised patients. HHV-6 infection occurs in nearly 50% of all bone marrow and in 20-30% of solid-organ transplant recipients, 2-3 weeks following the procedure. It has been suggested that the viral infection and activation result in clinical symptoms, including fever, skin rash, pneumonia, bone marrow suppression, encephalitis, and rejection. In order to understand the viral infection in greater detail, several studies investigating the route of viral transmission and diagnostic procedures have been carried out. In contrast to studies of HHV-6 infection in organ-transplant recipients, the number of studies examining HHV-7 infection in these patients is limited. According to several recent studies, HHV-7 may act as a cofactor for cytomegalovirus disease in organ-transplant recipients.

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