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J Virol Methods. 2003 Sep;112(1-2):99-105.

Differentiation and quantitation of human herpesviruses 6A, 6B and 7 by real-time PCR.

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Department of Medical Microbiology, University of Manitoba, Man., Winnipeg, Canada.


The beta-herpesviruses cause considerable morbidity in immunocompromised individuals, such as transplant patients. Most notably within this group is human cytomegalovirus, although HHV-6 and -7 are a growing concern. Identifying HHV-6 and -7 as the cause of post-transplant illness can be challenging due to high seroprevalence and latency properties associated with these human herpesviruses. We have developed a sensitive and specific real-time PCR assay, which can differentiate reliably and quantify HHV-6A, -6B and -7. Using two sets of hybridization probes specific for HHV-6A or -6B and HHV-7, the assay reliably differentiates the three viruses using melting curve analysis. The lower limit of detection for all three viruses was determined to be ten viral genomes. This real-time PCR assay will be useful for differentiation and quantitation of HHV-6A, -6B and -7, especially for monitoring transplant patients.

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