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J Infect Dis. 1999 Feb;179(2):311-8.

Human herpesvirus 6 infections after bone marrow transplantation: clinical and virologic manifestations.

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Department of Laboratory Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA.


Human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) DNA levels in peripheral blood mononuclear cells were prospectively evaluated in 20 cytomegalovirus-seronegative allogeneic marrow transplant patients and in 10 healthy control subjects. Blood and saliva specimens obtained weekly for 3 months after transplant were evaluated by quantitative HHV-6 polymerase chain reaction. One of 20 patients experienced primary HHV-6 infection after marrow transplant (seroconversion, HHV-6 viremia, skin rash); 18 of 20 had increased peripheral blood mononuclear cell HHV-6 DNA levels consistent with asymptomatic reactivations, and 1 patient experienced a reactivation-associated skin rash. Genotyping revealed HHV-6 variant B DNA in all cases. Therapy with acyclovir or intravenous immunoglobulin was not correlated with lower HHV-6 DNA levels. Thus, asymptomatic HHV-6 reactivations appear to be common following allogeneic marrow transplantation. Among HHV-6-seronegative and viral DNA-negative patients, primary HHV-6 infection can ensue in association with self-limited clinical symptoms, including diffuse maculopapular rash.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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