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Clin Microbiol Infect. 2017 Jan;23(1):50.e1-50.e5. doi: 10.1016/j.cmi.2016.09.023. Epub 2016 Sep 30.

Association of active human herpesvirus-6 (HHV-6) infection with autoimmune thyroid gland diseases.

Author information

1
Riga Stradiņš University, A. Kirchenstein Institute of Microbiology and Virology, Latvia. Electronic address: alina.sultanova@rsu.lv.
2
Riga Stradiņš University, A. Kirchenstein Institute of Microbiology and Virology, Latvia.
3
Riga Stradiņš University, Study Department, Latvia.
4
Riga East Clinical University Hospital, Gailezers Clinic, Latvia.
5
Institute of Anatomy and Anthropology, Riga Stradiņš University, Riga, Latvia.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

Viral infections frequently have been cited as important environmental factors implicated in the onset of autoimmune thyroiditis (AIT). The aim of this study was to determine the involvement of HHV-6 infection in the development of autoimmune thyroiditis.

METHODS:

This study included 45 patients (42 female and 3 male; median age 47.00 IQR 38.50-57.00) with histologically, laboratory, and clinically confirmed autoimmune thyroiditis, as well as 30 autopsied subjects (26 female and 4 male; median age 58.50, IQR 51.50-67.00) without thyroid pathologies and 30 healthy blood donors (25 female and 5 male; median age 33.50, IQR 27.75-44.25) as controls. Results were obtained by applying molecular virology and immunohistochemistry techniques.

RESULTS:

The presence of persistent HHV-6 infection in AIT patients was significantly higher (p 0.0058) than in the control group (44/45 (98%) vs. 23/30 (77%), respectively). Also, a significantly higher frequency of HHV-6 activation marker (U79/80 mRNA) was found in patients' thyroid gland tissue samples with AIT in comparison with the control group (18/44 (41%) vs. 1/17 (6%), respectively; p 0.0118). The median HHV-6 load was found to be higher in patients with active viral infection than in patients without it (2147, IQR 971-4188 vs. 551, IQR 145-1589 copies/1×106 cells; p 0.003). The presence of HHV-6 antigen expression was demonstrated in intrafollicular cellular clusters and immunohistochemistry indicated thyrocytes in the follicle wall.

CONCLUSIONS:

These findings provide evidence of strong HHV-6 infection association with AIT development.

KEYWORDS:

Active infection; Autoimmune thyroiditis; HHV-6; U79/80; Viral load

PMID:
27693656
DOI:
10.1016/j.cmi.2016.09.023
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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