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J Med Virol. 2001 Jan;63(1):45-51.

Human herpesvirus 6 infection in neoplastic and normal brain tissue.

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Istituto Neurologico Mediterraneo Neuromed, Pozzilli, Italy.


The presence and variant distribution of human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) was investigated by a nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in 118 biopsies from patients affected by nervous tissue tumor (115 primary tumors and 3 metastasis) and in 31 autopsy samples from the brain of healthy individuals. HHV-6 DNA sequences were detected in normal and neoplastic nervous tissue at a frequency of 32% and 37%, respectively. In both tissues, variant A was three times more frequent than the variant B. Peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBLs) derived from seven tumor affected patients contained the same variant as their respective brain sample, as judged by PCR. The expression of HHV-6 encoded immediate early protein p41 was detected by immunohistochemistry in neoplastic but not in normal brain. This may reflect viral reactivation from latency in immunocompromised patients. The seroepidemiological data indicated a frequency distribution of anti-HHV-6 antibodies in patients with brain tumors similar to that found in healthy donors.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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