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J Gen Virol. 2005 Aug;86(Pt 8):2135-2140. doi: 10.1099/vir.0.81034-0.

A novel homologue of Human herpesvirus 6 in chimpanzees.

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Unité d'Epidémiologie et Physiopathologie des Virus Oncogènes, Département EEMI, Bâtiment Lwoff, Institut Pasteur, 28 rue du Dr Roux, 75724 Paris cedex 15, France.
Department of Virology, Biomedical Primate Research Center (BPRC), Lange Kleiweg 139, 2288 GJ Rijswijk, The Netherlands.
Centre Pasteur du Cameroun, BP 1274, Yaoundé, Cameroon.


Among the Betaherpesvirinae, human cytomegalovirus is the only virus to possess simian homologues. Indeed, intriguingly, no close simian homologue of the roseoloviruses Human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) and Human herpesvirus 7 (HHV-7), the other two human members of the Betaherpesvirinae, has been identified to date. Here, the first simian homologue of HHV-6 is described, which was identified in common chimpanzees and designated PanHV6. By using a degenerate consensus PCR method, three different gene fragments were amplified, corresponding to the DNA polymerase (U38), beta-chemokine receptor (U12) and viral transactivator (U42) genes, with 94-96 % (nucleotide) and 95-97 % (amino acid) sequence identity to the corresponding genes of HHV-6B. Analysis of 77 predominantly wild-caught chimpanzees identified a unique PanHV6 strain in 21 animals, with no viral sequence variation between the different chimpanzee subspecies that were found to be infected. Characterization of this virus represents a great potential to gain a better understanding of the diseases associated with HHV-6.

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