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Lancet. 1988 May 14;1(8594):1065-7.

Identification of human herpesvirus-6 as a causal agent for exanthem subitum.

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  • 1Department of Virology, Osaka University, Japan.


A virus was isolated from the peripheral blood lymphocytes of patients with exanthem subitum, cultured successfully in cord blood lymphocytes, and shown to be antigenically related to human herpesvirus-6 (HHV-6). Morphological features, as studied by thin-section electronmicroscopy, resembled those of herpes group viruses. Convalescent-phase serum samples, tested against the new viral antigen and HHV-6 antigen, showed seroconversion. The results strongly suggest that the newly isolated virus is identical or closely related to HHV-6 and the causal agent for exanthem subitum.

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