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Virology. 1992 Sep;190(1):490-3.

Phenotypic and genetic polymorphisms among human herpesvirus-6 isolates from North American infants.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Rochester Medical Center, New York 14642.


Fifteen human herpesvirus-6 (HHV-6) isolates from North American infants with primary infection manifest as febrile or roseola (exanthem subitum) like illnesses were characterized phenotypically on the basis of their in vitro growth in continuous T-cell lines and primary human mononuclear cells and by their reactivity with monoclonal antibodies. All isolates replicated efficiently in primary human cord blood mononuclear cells, but five distinct patterns of viral replication in human cells lines were observed. Two of the HHV-6 isolates from infants were found to replicate in HSB-2 cells, a property associated with so-called group A viruses, which had previously been isolated only from adults. These same isolates also reacted with a panel of A-specific monoclonal antibodies. Genomic characterization of viral isolates using well-characterized restriction site polymorphisms indicated that these two isolates contained a mixture of both A- and B-type genomes, in different proportions. These data suggest that not all HHV-6 isolates can be categorized into one of two broad groups and that such segregation of HHV-6 isolates may in fact be misleading.

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