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Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis. 2010 Jul;29(7):881-6. doi: 10.1007/s10096-010-0923-1. Epub 2010 Apr 21.

Quantitative HHV-6B antigenemia test for the monitoring of transplant patients.

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Department of Virology, HUSLAB, Helsinki University Hospital and University of Helsinki, FIN-00290 Helsinki, Finland.


Human herpesvirus-6 (HHV-6) infection, mostly caused by variant B, is common after transplantation. Here, we report a new modified method using an HHV-6B glycoprotein IgG antibody, OHV-3, and attempt to quantify the HHV-6 antigenemia after liver transplantation. Twenty-four liver transplant recipients were frequently monitored by the HHV-6 antigenemia test, which detects the HHV-6B virion protein in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC). HHV-6B antigens were now retrospectively demonstrated using a glycoprotein OHV-3 IgG antibody in the immunoperoxidase staining from the same specimens and quantified as positive cells/10,000 PBMC. The results were confirmed and quantified by DNA hybridization in situ. Altogether, 206 blood specimens were analyzed. During the first six months, HHV-6 antigenemia was detected in 17/24 (71%) recipients by using the HHV-6B virion antibody. In total, 37% (77/206) of specimens were positive with the virion antibody and 39% (78/201) by the OHV-3 antibody. The peak number of OHV-3-positive cells in the PBMC varied from 5 to 750/10,000 (mean 140/10,000). The OHV-3 antibody was useful to quantify the HHV-6B antigenemia. The findings of the HHV-6B quantitative antigenemia using the OHV-3 antibody correlated well with the previous qualitative HHV-6 antigenemia assay, and can be used as an alternative quantitative method in the monitoring of HHV-6 in transplant patients.

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