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J Med Virol. 1993 Jan;39(1):44-9.

Avidity of IgG antibodies to human herpesvirus-6 distinguishes primary from recurrent infection in organ transplant recipients and excludes cross-reactivity with other herpesviruses.

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Department of Pathology, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom.


A newly developed IgG antibody avidity test for human herpesvirus-6 (HHV-6) was used in a study of primary and recurrent HHV-6 antibody responses in immunocompromised solid organ graft recipients. In a primary HHV-6 infection low avidity antibody was detected which matured to high avidity within 5 months whereas, in contrast, high avidity antibody was found in three recurrent infections thus showing the ability of the test to discriminate between primary and recurrent infection in immunosuppressed patients. Six HHV-6 seropositive transplant patients who experienced a subsequent primary human cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection had high avidity concurrent HHV-6 antibody rises, thus excluding a cross-reaction from the low avidity antibodies generated in the primary CMV response and providing evidence of recurrent HHV-6 infection. Four further HHV-6 seropositive patients with proven primary Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection were also studied; in each of these cases high avidity HHV-6 antibody rises were seen likewise suggesting recurrent HHV-6 infection. The test is therefore of value in the investigation of herpesvirus infections in transplant patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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