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J Natl Cancer Inst. 1987 Nov;79(5):933-41.

Ultrastructural characterization of a new human B lymphotropic DNA virus (human herpesvirus 6) isolated from patients with lymphoproliferative disease.

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Laboratory of Tumor Cell Biology, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD 20892.


A new DNA virus, designated "human B lymphotropic virus" or "human herpesvirus 6" (HBLV), has been isolated from the peripheral blood leukocytes of patients with various lymphoproliferative disorders, in some instances also associated with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1) infection. HBLV, propagated in vitro in human cord blood lymphocytes, was found to be ultrastructurally similar to members of the herpesvirus family. It is an enveloped virus with an icosahedral nucleocapsid made up of 162 capsomeres. Unenveloped nucleocapsids in the cytoplasm wee always coated with a tegument, a feature also described for human cytomegalovirus (HCMV). However, the nucleoprotein core of HBLV does not have the beaded appearance as that of HCMV, nor do HBLV-infected cells contain the skein-like structure. Immune electron microscopy demonstrated the presence of specific antibodies to viral envelope and internal antigens in sera of infected patients, indicating that this virus is a possible human pathogen. These and previously reported characteristics are consistent with the HBLV being a new and unique DNA virus morphologically belonging to the herpesvirus family.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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