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Virus Res. 2013 May;173(2):280-5. doi: 10.1016/j.virusres.2013.02.006. Epub 2013 Feb 20.

An infectious HHV-6B isolate from a healthy adult with chromosomally integrated virus and a reporter based relative viral titer assay.

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Virology Laboratory, Advanced Centre for Treatment, Research and Education in Cancer (ACTREC), Tata Memorial Centre, Kharghar, Navi Mumbai 410 210, India.


Human herpesvirus 6B (HHV-6B) primary infections occur in early childhood and establish a life-long latency in the most healthy adults. HHV-6B was detectable in the peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) and granulocytes by serial genomic DNA dilution PCR till 10 pg of template DNA, in a healthy adult. Epstein Barr virus (EBV) mediated transformation of the PBMC resulted in establishment of a B-cell line. Southern hybridization with the PBMC as well as the cell line DNA showed distinct signals for high copy viral genomes and Gardella gel analysis indicated chromosomal integration of the HHV-6B. Integration site analysis in the PBMC and the cell line indicated an atypical viral integration in non-telomeric region of chromosome 12. Cell free culture medium of the cell line could infect different mononuclear cell lines, naïve or mitogen stimulated PBMC and was found to impart productive infection in a recipient T cell line. An HIV-1 LTR driven luciferase based reporter cell line was made and a single step assay was developed for estimating HHV-6B relative concentration in the culture supernatants. This study thus reports a new infectious HHV-6B isolate with uncommon integration site, spontaneous production from a cell line and also development of a simple relative HHV-6B titer assay.

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