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J Med Virol. 2005 Jun;76(2):223-8.

Detection of human herpesvirus 7 DNA in peripheral blood reflects mainly CD4+ cell count in patients infected with HIV.

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Laboratoire de Virologie, UPRES EA 2387, Groupe Hospitalier Pitié-Salpêtrière, Paris, France.


The opportunistic behavior and the potential interactions of human herpesvirus 7 (HHV-7) with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1 in HIV-1-infected patients were investigated in comparison with HHV-6, another human roseolovirus. Roseolovirus DNAs were detected and quantified in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from 198 HIV-seronegative healthy blood donors, 38 HIV-1-infected patients classified as long-term non-progressors, and 99 HIV-1-infected patients classified as progressors. The rate of HHV-7 DNA detection was higher in healthy donors (78%) than in long-term non-progressors (47%; P = 0.0003) or in progressors (52%; P < 0.0001). HHV-7 cell load was higher in healthy donors (median: 212 EqCop/10(6) PBMCs) and in long-term non-progressors (median: 105 EqCop/10(6) PBMCs) than in progressors (median: 48 EqCop/10(6) PBMCs; P < 0.0001 and P = 0.015, respectively). Among progressors, HHV-7 detection was correlated positively with the CD4(+) T-lymphocyte count (P = 0.028). Neither HHV-7 detection rate nor cell load was correlated with the HIV-1 plasma load. As a whole, HHV-6 detection rate and cell load were lower than the HHV-7 counterparts, albeit exhibiting similar differences between healthy donors, long-term non-progressors, and progressors. In conclusion, HHV-7 infection does not appear to be stimulated by HIV-1 infection, nor interact with it. Rather, HHV-7 detection rate and cell load reflect CD4(+) T-lymphocyte count, with higher values in healthy donors and long-term non-progressors than in progressors.

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