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Jundishapur J Microbiol. 2014 Sep;7(9):e11821. doi: 10.5812/jjm.11821. Epub 2013 Sep 1.

Detection of human herpesvirus 6 in cerebrospinal fluid of children with possible encephalitis.

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Virology Department, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, IR Iran.
Pediatrics Medical Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, IR Iran.



Encephalitis is swelling and inflammation of brain, usually due to viral infection. Viral encephalitis symptoms could be fever, headache, altered level of consciousness, and seizures.


The aim of this study was detection of human herpesvirus-6 (HHV-6) DNA in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of patients with symptoms of possible acute encephalitis and without typical signs or symptoms of roseola infantum, using real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR).


We studied children two years old or younger, admitted to the pediatric emergency ward with encephalitis-like symptoms. Our evaluation included detection of HHV-6 in CSF of these patients. After DNA extraction, real-time PCR was performed with primers and a probe specific for the U22 open reading frame of both HHV-6A and B.


From a total of 114 patients, HHV-6 was detected in 10 (8.8%), 90% of which were boys with mean age 7.7 months and median of 7.5 months. No significant differences were found in clinical presentations and laboratory findings between the patients positive and negative for HHV-6. All the children had complete recovery without neurological deficit or death.


According to this research and prevalence of HHV-6 in children, evaluation of CSF (detecting the HHV-6 DNA by PCR) is recommended in patients younger than 13 months with possible encephalitis.


Cerebrospinal Fluid; Encephalitis; Human Herpesvirus6; Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction

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