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J Infect Dis. 2001 Jan 1;183(1):130-3. Epub 2000 Nov 10.

Human herpesvirus 6A DNA Is detected frequently in plasma but rarely in peripheral blood leukocytes of patients after bone marrow transplantation.

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Klinik für Innere Medizin m.S. Hämatologie und Onkologie, Charité-Campus Virchow Klinikum, Humboldt Universität zu Berlin, Berlin, Germany.


A real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction assay was devised to determine the load of human herpesvirus (HHV)-6A and -6B DNA in paired samples of plasma and peripheral blood leukocytes (PBL) of 25 bone marrow transplant patients. The assay detects HHV-6 DNA variants A and B in a linear range of 10(7)-10(1) genome equivalents per assay. Viral DNA was measured in 336 paired DNA PBL samples and in corresponding plasma samples. HHV-6A and/or -6B DNA was detected in PBL of 23 of 25 patients and in plasma of 24 of 25 patients. HHV-6B was the predominant variant found in PBL and also was detected in the corresponding plasma. Surprisingly, only 1 of 25 patients had detectable HHV-6A DNA in PBL, although 23 of 25 patients were positive for HHV-6A DNA in plasma. HHV-6 DNA load in plasma was significantly higher for HHV-6A than for HHV-6B (P=.0066).

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