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J Med Virol. 1995 Sep;47(1):65-9.

Human herpesvirus type 7 in blood donors: detection by the polymerase chain reaction.

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Universitätsklinikum Rudolf Virchow, Abteilung für Innere Medizin mit Schwerpunkt Hämatologie und Onkologie, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany.


In order to evaluate the prevalence of human herpesvirus type 7 (HHV-7) in adult blood donors oral lavage fluid, buffy coat, and urine samples from 112 persons were examined by the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) at one time point. In addition, 11 donors were studied longitudinally over 11 weeks. When the results of the initial and the longitudinal study were combined HHV-7 DNA was found in samples from 109 of 112 (97.3%) adult blood donors. On the basis of different sensitivity levels of the first and the nested PCR differences were detected in the viral DNA load in the samples. It was found that lavage fluid regularly carried significantly higher DNA concentrations than buffy coat. Out of 112 donors, 102 (91.1%) and 8 (7.1%) were positive in the first, less sensitive PCR in lavage fluid and buffy coat, respectively (P < .0001). After nested PCR, 107 (95.5%) and 74 (66.1%) were positive in lavage fluid and buffy coat, respectively (P < .0001). Urine samples were found positive only sporadically. The longitudinal study showed that the oral lavage fluid of most of the donors consistently carried HHV-7 over up to 53 weeks, whereas buffy coat samples were positive less often. In conclusion, HHV-7 is found frequently in adult blood donors in the oral lavage fluid and buffy coat, which are, therefore, potential sources of HHV-7 transmission.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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