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J Infect Dis. 2002 Jul 15;186(2):173-80. Epub 2002 Jun 17.

beta-Herpesvirus (human cytomegalovirus and human herpesvirus 6) reactivation in at-risk lung transplant recipients and in human immunodeficiency virus-infected patients.

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  • 1Department of Respiratory Medicine, Alfred Hospital, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia.


Human herpesvirus (HHV)-6 is a beta-herpesvirus-like human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) with the potential to reactivate in immunocompromised persons. HHV-6 and HCMV were assessed in the peripheral blood leukocytes of 26 lung transplant recipients and of 37 human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected patients receiving highly active antiretroviral therapy, to determine the degree of concordance between HHV-6 and HCMV reactivation in different biologic settings. In the lung transplant recipients (145 samples), HHV-6 was not detected, even though 44 (30%) of 145 samples were from 9 HCMV DNA-positive patients (13 episodes of HCMV pneumonitis). Among the HIV-infected patients (172 samples), HCMV DNA was detected in 29 (17%) of 172 samples from 10 patients (4 episodes of HCMV disease). HHV-6 DNA was detected in 2 HIV-infected patients who did not have HCMV detected at that time. These findings suggest that the pathobiologic control mechanisms for these 2 beta-herpesviruses may be significantly different.

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