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J Virol Methods. 2006 Jun;134(1-2):41-7. Epub 2006 Jan 18.

A reverse transcription-nested PCR assay for HHV-6 mRNA early transcript detection after transplantation.

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Laboratoire de Virologie, CHU Dupuytren, Limoges, France.


Monitoring of human herpesvirus-6 (HHV-6) reactivation is important, especially in immunocompromised patients such as transplant recipients. Reverse transcription PCR (RT-PCR) is a useful method to distinguish between latent and active infection. Here, a RT-nested PCR coupled with a colorimetric plate hybridization assay was established to detect HHV-6 types A and B U79/80 mRNAs. After confirming the reliability of the assay on HHV-6 cultures, it was applied to the detection of HHV-6 reactivation after renal (27 patients), bone marrow (14 patients) or heart (7 patients) transplantation. A total of 206 blood samples were tested from renal (137), bone marrow (58) and heart (11) transplant recipients. U79/80 mRNAs were found in 32 samples that were considered as indicative of HHV-6 reactivation: 15, 13 and 5 from kidney, bone marrow and heart transplant recipients, respectively. Finally, U79/80 mRNA detection was correlated with clinical manifestations including leucopenia, skin rash, graft rejection or dysfunction and diarrhoea.

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