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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1992 Nov 1;89(21):10552-6.

Human herpesvirus 7 is a T-lymphotropic virus and is related to, but significantly different from, human herpesvirus 6 and human cytomegalovirus.

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Laboratory of Tumor Cell Biology, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892.


An independent strain (JI) of human herpesvirus 7 (HHV-7) was isolated from a patient with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). No significant association could be established by seroepidemiology between HHV-7 and CFS. HHV-7 is a T-lymphotropic virus, infecting CD4+ and CD8+ primary lymphocytes. HHV-7 can also infect SUP-T1, an immature T-cell line, with variable success. Southern blot analysis with DNA probes scanning 58.8% of the human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) genome and hybridizing to all HHV-6 strains tested so far revealed homology to HHV-7 with only 37.4% of the total probe length. HHV-7 contains the GGGTTA repetitive sequence, as do HHV-6 and Marek's disease chicken herpesvirus. DNA sequencing of a 186-base-pair fragment of HHV-7(JI) revealed an identity with HHV-6 and human cytomegalovirus of 57.5% and 36%, respectively. Oligonucleotide primers derived from this sequence (HV7/HV8, HV10/HV11) amplified HHV-7 DNA only and did not amplify DNA from other human herpesviruses, including 12 different HHV-6 strains. Southern blot analysis with the p43L3 probe containing the 186-base-pair HHV-7 DNA fragment hybridized to HHV-7 DNA only. The molecular divergence between human cytomegalovirus, on the one hand, and HHV-6 and HHV-7, on the other, is greater than between HHV-6 and HHV-7, which, in turn, is greater than the difference between HHV-6 strains. This study supports the classification of HHV-7 as an additional member of the human beta-herpesviruses.

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