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J Med Virol. 1997 Nov;53(3):295-305.

Human herpesvirus-6 and human herpesvirus-7 infections in bone marrow transplant recipients.

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Department of Microbiology, University of Hong Kong, Queen Mary Hospital, Hong Kong.


Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV), human herpesvirus-6 (HHV-6), and human herpesvirus-7 (HHV-7) DNA in peripheral blood leukocytes (PBL) of 61 bone marrow transplant recipients was monitored weekly during the first 12 weeks post-transplantation by a nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Thirty-seven (61%), 17 (28%), and 32 (53%) of patients had one or more PBL specimens positive for HCMV, HHV-6 or HHV-7 DNA, respectively. HHV-7 DNA in PBL during the early post-transplant period was associated with a longer time to neutrophil engraftment (mean 28.8 days vs 19.8 days; P = 0.01). In two patients who failed to engraft, HHV-6 DNA and HHV-7 DNA was detected in plasma and PBL, respectively, early in their post-transplant period. Patients with HCMV disease were more likely to have concurrent HHV-7 DNA in PBL prior to onset of disease than were patients with asymptomatic HCMV infection, suggesting that HHV-7 may be a cofactor in the progression from HCMV infection to HCMV disease. In the 17 patients (179 specimens) in whom viral DNA in plasma was studied (in addition to PBL), a positive result was found only in 3. In each, viral DNA in plasma appeared to correlate with clinically significant disease. HHV-7 DNA in plasma was associated with encephalitis in an allograft recipient.

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