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Int J Cancer. 1991 Oct 21;49(4):551-7.

Sero-epidemiological investigations on human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) infections using a newly developed early antigen assay.

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Department of Microbiology, Georgetown University Medical Center Washington, DC.


Monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) were developed against immunodominant HHV-6 (GS isolate) late and early proteins. The major late protein was identified as a probable glycoprotein with a molecular weight of approximately 110 kDa (gp 110). Immunoblotting of the early antigen yielded proteins of 41 and 38 kDa (p41/38). The MAb to the early protein reacted with cells infected with 14 different HHV-6 isolates. In contrast, the MAb against the late protein reacted with only 10 of these isolates, indicating that there was strain variation in this glycoprotein. The percentage of antibody-positive sera reactive with gp110 in the ELISA ranged from 56% to 96% among the different serum donor categories. In contrast, only 10-30% of the sera were positive for antibodies to p41/38 with the exception of sera from patients with African Burkitt's lymphoma (ABL) and Hodgkin's disease (HD). These antibody patterns denote the presence of active HHV-6 replication in patients with ABL and HD.

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