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Rev Med Virol. 2012 May;22(3):144-55. doi: 10.1002/rmv.715. Epub 2011 Nov 4.

Chromosomally integrated human herpesvirus 6: questions and answers.

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1
Department of Immunology and Microbiology, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, MI 48201, USA. ppellett@med.wayne.edu

Abstract

Chromosomally integrated human herpesvirus 6 (ciHHV-6) is a condition in which the complete HHV-6 genome is integrated into the host germ line genome and is vertically transmitted in a Mendelian manner. The condition is found in less than 1% of controls in the USA and UK, but has been found at a somewhat higher prevalence in transplant recipients and other patient populations in several small studies. HHV-6 levels in whole blood that exceed 5.5 log10 copies/ml are strongly suggestive of ciHHV-6. Monitoring DNA load in plasma and serum is unreliable, both for identifying and for monitoring subjects with ciHHV-6 due to cell lysis and release of cellular DNA. High HHV-6 DNA loads associated with ciHHV-6 can lead to erroneous diagnosis of active infection. Transplant recipients with ciHHV-6 may be at increased risk for bacterial infection and graft rejection. ciHHV-6 can be induced to a state of active viral replication in vitro. It is not known whether ciHHV-6 individuals are put at clinical risk by the use of drugs that have been associated with HHV-6 reactivation in vivo or in vitro. Nonetheless, we urge careful observation when use of such drugs is indicated in individuals known to have ciHHV-6. Little is known about whether individuals with ciHHV-6 develop immune tolerance for viral proteins. Further research is needed to determine the role of ciHHV-6 in disease.

PMID:
22052666
PMCID:
PMC3498727
DOI:
10.1002/rmv.715
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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