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J Infect Dis. 2015 Oct 1;212(7):1014-21. doi: 10.1093/infdis/jiv160. Epub 2015 Apr 3.

Pathogenic Role of Human Herpesvirus 6B Infection in Mesial Temporal Lobe Epilepsy.

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Department of Pediatrics, Fujita Health University School of Medicine.
Faculty of Clinical Engineering, Fujita Health University School of Health Sciences, Toyoake.
National Epilepsy Center, Shizuoka Institute of Epilepsy and Neurological Disorder, Japan.



Human herpesvirus 6B (HHV-6B) is the causative agent for exanthem subitum. HHV-6B was associated with mesial temporal sclerosis (MTS), leading to mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (MTLE). In this study, we sought to elucidate the pathogenic role of HHV-6B in patients with MTLE.


Seventy-five intractable MTLE patients, including 52 MTS patients and 23 non-MTS patients, were enrolled in this study. Resected hippocampus, amygdala, and mixed samples of amygdala and uncus samples were examined by real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and reverse-transcriptase PCR to detect viral DNA and messenger RNA (mRNA), respectively. Host gene expressions, including neural markers, were measured using the TaqMan Gene Expression Assay.


Detection of HHV-6 DNA was higher in MTS patients than non-MTS patients (median/interquartile range: 19.1/0-89.2 vs 0.0/0.0-0.0 copies/µg DNA; P = .004). HHV-6B viral DNA was determined in 12/27 HHV-6 DNA-positive samples, and no HHV-6B mRNA were detected in all samples. In MTS patients, expression of monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (P = .029) and glial fibrillary acidic protein (P = .043) were significantly higher in the amygdala samples with HHV-6 DNA than those without viral DNA.


This study suggests that HHV-6B may play an important role in the pathogenesis of MTS via modification of host gene expression.


human herpesvirus 6; lobe; mesial temporal sclerosis

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