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J Virol Methods. 1993 Mar;41(3):265-75.

An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for the detection of IgG and IgM antibodies to human herpesvirus type 6.

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Surveillance, Influenza and Viral Exanthemata Section, Health and Welfare Canada, Ottawa, Ontario.


A lysate of human herpesvirus type 6 (HHV6) infected HSB2 cells was used as antigen for an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for the detection of IgG and IgM antibody to HHV6. 78 clinical samples were tested for the presence of HHV6-specific IgM. Nine specimens, all from children under 4.5 years of age, were found to be reactive indicating probable acute infection with HHV6. Sera from 12 healthy adult blood donors and from 88 of 90 adults over the age of 35 with unspecified health conditions tested negative for HHV6 IgM, indicating a minimum specificity estimate of nearly 98% in these patients. Cross-reactivity of antibody to other herpes viruses with the HHV6 ELISA antigen was not detected. Six hundred and ninety-six serum samples from individuals of different age groups were examined for IgG antibody status. In 94% of these samples, IgG antibody was detected. Our data suggests that most Canadians possess antibody to HHV6 by 1 yr of age and that on average, antibody levels remain high through early adulthood but begin to decline with advancing age. The ELISA described is a reliable test for the measurement of IgG and IgM antibodies for both clinical diagnosis and epidemiological studies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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