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Human herpesvirus 6 infection.

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Department of Pediatrics, College of Medicine, National Taiwan University, Taipei, R.O.C.


Human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) was identified in 1986 and roseola infantum was the first disease linked to HHV-6. To date, a large variety of clinical syndromes have been associated with HHV-6. Age of the patient is the most important factor when considering HHV-6 as a possible cause of infection. It is a major pathogen for children aged 6 to 24 months. In addition, HHV-6 is an important pathogen in the immunocompromised host and may cause ailments of the central nervous system. These later two conditions are most likely to be benefited from the application of anti-viral drug when it becomes available. HHV-6 is an example that virus hides within the immunologic cells and displays a complex interaction with the host cells. The discovery of HHV-6 offers a lesson for clinicians to anticipate new viruses deriving from unexpected sites within the human body; furthermore, HHV-6 provides a model for studying the clinical role of a new herpesvirus.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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