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Acta Paediatr Jpn. 1997 Dec;39(6):653-7.

Outcomes of infants whose mothers are positive for human herpesvirus-6 DNA within the genital tract in early gestation.

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Department of Pediatrics, Rokko Island Hospital, Kobe, Japan.


It has been reported that HHV-6 (human herpesvirus-6) DNA has been identified within the female genital tract. However, the clinical significance of this finding has been unclear. The clinical outcome of the presence of HHV-6 DNA in the genital tract of pregnant women on their infants was evaluated in the present study. One hundred and ten pregnant women were enrolled. Vaginal swabs were collected between 4 and 8 weeks of gestation and the presence or absence of HHV-6 DNA was evaluated by nested polymerase chain reaction (nPCR). The swabs were cultured to isolate the virus. The women were divided into two groups: HHV-6 DNA-positive, and negative. The outcome variables of the infants of these two groups were statistically estimated at birth and at 1 month of age. Saliva and blood cells were collected from the infants at birth and at 1 month of age and were also evaluated by nPCR. HHV-6 DNA was detected in the vaginal swabs of 28 pregnant women (25.5%), but was not detected in any other samples, including saliva and blood cells from their infants. Virus could not be isolated from any vaginal samples. Any outcome variables were not significantly different between the two groups. The presence of HHV-6 DNA within the genital tract of pregnant women did not affect the health of their infants. It is suggested that HHV-6 transmission to infants through the genital tract of their mothers during pregnancy does not occur, or only very rarely.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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