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ciHHV-6 is a risk factor for angina pectoris

In an article published this month in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Dr. Louis Flamand’s team has described a relationship between inherited chromosomally integrated HHV-6 (iciHHV-6) and the development of angina pectoris.

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HHV-6 Reactivation Tied to acute GvHD and Steroid Administration

A large-scale multiplex PCR assay developed by a team in Japan was used to study 13 DNA viruses in 105 allogenic hematopoietic stem cell transplant patients. They found that patients treated with steroids had a significantly higher risk of HHV-6 reactivation (p=0.027), and that HHV-6 was the only virus tied to the onset of acute GVHD (p=0.016).

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HHV-6 can cause “idiopathic” pneumonia

A pivotal study, led by Michael Boeckh at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, has determined that occult infections contribute to 57% of all cases of “idiopathic” pneumonia syndrome (IPS), a condition previously assumed to be non-infectious. HHV-6 was the dominant pathogen representing 29% of cases.

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Pathogenic role for HHV-6B in in mesial temporal lobe epilepsy

Japanese investigators published findings suggesting that HHV-6B plays a pathogenic role in epilepsy by enhancing gene expression that induces neuroinflammation and sclerosis in the temporal lobe. HHV-6 DNA levels were significantly higher in the resected tissue of epilepsy patients with sclerosis compared to those without it.

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Joshua Hill awarded a 5-year grant to study HHV-6

Congratulations to Joshua Hill, MD, Acting Instructor at the University of Washington and Research Associate at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, who has won a K23 grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to study HHV-6 in lower respiratory tract disease and chromosomally integrated HHV-6 after stem cell transplantation (SCT).

Elevated levels of HHV-6 DNA in Alzheimer’s, linked to variants in antiviral genes

A group from Italy’s University of Bologna report that genetic defects in antimicrobial defense mechanisms can leave some individuals vulnerable to sub-clinical infections that lead to cognitive decline as they age. They found variations in specific antiviral genes that correlate with HHV-6 DNA levels in brain tissue and blood from patients with Alzheimer’s disease.

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Elevated levels of HHV-6 DNA in Alzheimer’s, linked to variants in antiviral genes

A group from Italy’s University of Bologna report that genetic defects in antimicrobial defense mechanisms can leave some individuals vulnerable to sub-clinical infections that lead to cognitive decline as they age. They found variations in specific antiviral genes that correlate with HHV-6 DNA levels in brain tissue and blood from patients with Alzheimer’s disease.

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Spotlight on Horvat & Reynaud from INSERM

Branka Horvat, MD, PhD, Director of Research at the International Centre for Infectiology Research in Lyon, France (INSERM), and her doctoral student Josephine Reynaud have recently published an important paper on a new transgenic mouse model

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Epstein-Barr Virus and Human herpes virus 6 Type A DNA Enhance IL-17 Production in Mice

Since both HHV-6 and EBV have been associated with an increased risk of autoimmune disease development, a group at the American University of Beirut studied whether viral DNA might be capable of triggering IL-17, a cytokine associated with autoimmune disease. They injected BALB/c mice intraperitoneally with either EBV or HHV-6A DNA. They found that both IL-17 and IL-23 were markedly elevated.

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ciHHV-6 is a risk factor for angina pectoris

In an article published this month in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Dr. Louis Flamand’s team has described a relationship between inherited chromosomally integrated HHV-6 (iciHHV-6) and the development of angina pectoris.

Expert Opinion: Dr. Louis Flamand calls for screening of transplant organs and cells for ciHHV-6 status

Dr. Flamand, a professor and molecular virologist at Université Laval in Quebec city, has written an editorial calling for screening of organ donors for ciHHV-6 status and careful monitoring of recipients of ciHHV-6 donor tissues for signs of active HHV-6 infection and HHV-6 antigen-induced immune rejection. Flamand also questions whether solid organs and stem cells derived from persons with ciHHV-6 should be used in transplantation.

Conclusive evidence that ciHHV-6 activates in vivo

The inherited strain of HHV-6A in an immunosuppressed infant activated and caused hemophagocytic syndrome that was responsive to antiviral treatment. The isolated strain matched that of his ciHHV6 father.

Q & A with Dr. Bhupesh Prusty and Professor Thomas Rudel

Dr. Bhupesh Prusty and Professor Thomas Rudel from Biozentrum University have published several articles on the phenomenon of ciHHV-6 activation including a study on the interaction between Chlamydia infection and ciHHV-6. We interviewed them about the implications of these findings, their current studies, and what lies ahead for this team in the field of ciHHV-6 research.

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HHV-6 induced kidney damage in drug hypersensitivity

A new case study suggests that HHV-6 might play a role in the multi-organ failure that often follows extreme cases of drug hypersensitivity. Although there have been many studies documenting HHV-6 viremia in drug hypersensitivity (DIHS/DRESS) cases, this is the first to examine an affected organ for signs of HHV-6 DNA and proteins. The mortality rate from severe drug hypersensitivity is approximately 10%, and death usually results from a late flare in symptoms and failure of one or more organ, typically the liver, kidney, lungs or heart. HHV-6 viremia occurs in the majority of extreme drug hypersensitivity cases (Pritchett 2012) but the reason for the disproportionate reactivation of HHV-6 is not understood. The case, which is presented by a Japanese …

Interview with Drs. Ishida and Shiohara

Drs. Ishida and Shiohara from Kyorin University in Tokyo have publised an inportant new study on the dynamics of herpesvirus reactivations during and after severe drug reactions. We asked them their thoughts on the implications of their findings.

Steroids increase HHV-6 but reduce EBV viral loads in DIHS/DRESS

In a recent study published in the European Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, a group from Kyorin University School of Medicine in Tokyo sought to comprehensively record the dynamics of key herpesviruses beyond the acute stage of SJS/TEN. While EBV loads were higher in patients not receiving systemic corticosteroids, CMV and HHV-6 loads were higher in those receiving them.

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Pathogenic role for HHV-6B in in mesial temporal lobe epilepsy

Japanese investigators published findings suggesting that HHV-6B plays a pathogenic role in epilepsy by enhancing gene expression that induces neuroinflammation and sclerosis in the temporal lobe. HHV-6 DNA levels were significantly higher in the resected tissue of epilepsy patients with sclerosis compared to those without it.

High HHV-6B viral loads found in a subset of epilepsy brain resections

Investigators at the University of Bonn Medical Center in Germany have screened 346 fresh-frozen brain tissue resections from temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) patients for all nine herpesviruses as well as for RNA viruses including Paramyxovirinae, Phleboviruses, Enteroviruses, and Flavivirus, using qPCR. HHV-6B was the only virus identified.

Interview with Dr. Pitt Niehusmann: HHV-6 & MTLE

Pitt Niehusmann has completed the largest study to date on the question of whether viruses play a role in refractory mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (MTLE), with 346 samples analyzed. We asked Pitt a few questions about his work.

HHV-6 status epilepticus in an immunocompetent adult

Immunocompetent adults are not supposed to get HHV-6 encephalitis or status epilepticus (SE) and HHV-6 testing is rarely performed in these patients. A new case report from Baylor suggests that testing for HHV-6 in these patients may be worthwhile.

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HHV-6 Reactivation Tied to acute GvHD and Steroid Administration

A large-scale multiplex PCR assay developed by a team in Japan was used to study 13 DNA viruses in 105 allogenic hematopoietic stem cell transplant patients. They found that patients treated with steroids had a significantly higher risk of HHV-6 reactivation (p=0.027), and that HHV-6 was the only virus tied to the onset of acute GVHD (p=0.016).

See All GVHD Articles
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ciHHV-6 is a risk factor for angina pectoris

In an article published this month in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Dr. Louis Flamand’s team has described a relationship between inherited chromosomally integrated HHV-6 (iciHHV-6) and the development of angina pectoris.

Heart failure worsens in patients with persistent HHV-6B positive biopsies

Numerous case reports and studies have now tied HHV-6 to myocarditis and cardiomyopathies. To further investigate this relationship, investigators from one of the top cardiology clinics in Europe performed a study to determine the outcome of patients discovered to have HHV-6 in their cardiac tissue during the initial biopsy screen.

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HHV-6 and EBV elevated in the GI tract of HIV+ patients

A group from Sapienza University in Rome has found a significantly elevated prevalence of HHV-6 and a higher viral load for EBV in the stomach and duodenum biopsies of patients with HIV compared to controls, suggesting that these viruses may contribute to the development of gastric cancer in immunocompromised patients.

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HHV-6 induced kidney damage in drug hypersensitivity

A new case study suggests that HHV-6 might play a role in the multi-organ failure that often follows extreme cases of drug hypersensitivity. Although there have been many studies documenting HHV-6 viremia in drug hypersensitivity (DIHS/DRESS) cases, this is the first to examine an affected organ for signs of HHV-6 DNA and proteins. The mortality rate from severe drug hypersensitivity is approximately 10%, and death usually results from a late flare in symptoms and failure of one or more organ, typically the liver, kidney, lungs or heart. HHV-6 viremia occurs in the majority of extreme drug hypersensitivity cases (Pritchett 2012) but the reason for the disproportionate reactivation of HHV-6 is not understood. The case, which is presented by a Japanese …

See All Kidney Disease Articles
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Joshua Hill awarded a 5-year grant to study HHV-6

Congratulations to Joshua Hill, MD, Acting Instructor at the University of Washington and Research Associate at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, who has won a K23 grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to study HHV-6 in lower respiratory tract disease and chromosomally integrated HHV-6 after stem cell transplantation (SCT).

Special Issue on Roseoloviruses!

The December 2014 issue of Current Opinions in Virology features a “Special Section on Roseoloviruses.” Top experts in the field contributed a set of 14 reviews that span a wide range of critical topics encompassing the molecular biology and the

Prevalence of betaherpesviruses in Sub-Saharan Africa

A group from University College London and the University of Zambia has reported that 20.5% of hospitalized infants were positive for HHV-6B, second only to CMV (24.3%). In contrast to previous studies, HHV-6A was found in only 0.3% of patients.

HHV-6 status epilepticus in an immunocompetent adult

Immunocompetent adults are not supposed to get HHV-6 encephalitis or status epilepticus (SE) and HHV-6 testing is rarely performed in these patients. A new case report from Baylor suggests that testing for HHV-6 in these patients may be worthwhile.

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HHV-6 can cause “idiopathic” pneumonia

A pivotal study, led by Michael Boeckh at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, has determined that occult infections contribute to 57% of all cases of “idiopathic” pneumonia syndrome (IPS), a condition previously assumed to be non-infectious. HHV-6 was the dominant pathogen representing 29% of cases.

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HHV-6 status determines effectiveness of interferon treatment in Multiple Sclerosis

The administration of immune agents to patients (known as Interferon-Beta-1b, or IFN-beta, therapy) has been widely used in the treatment and maintenance of multiple sclerosis (MS). Additionally, it is known that the risk of MS exacerbation is much higher in patients with active HHV-6 infection than in patients with a latent infection of the virus (Lafuente 2006, 2007; Chapenko 2003). In this new study from Madrid, researchers examined the effectiveness of IFN-1b therapy in multiple sclerosis patients with active HHV-6 infection. By monitoring the HHV-6 DNA levels of MS patients undergoing IFN-beta therapy, investigators were able to find that patients with active HHV-6 infection had a higher risk of severe MS relapse and poor response to IFN-beta therapy than patients …

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HHV-6 Reactivation Tied to acute GvHD and Steroid Administration

A large-scale multiplex PCR assay developed by a team in Japan was used to study 13 DNA viruses in 105 allogenic hematopoietic stem cell transplant patients. They found that patients treated with steroids had a significantly higher risk of HHV-6 reactivation (p=0.027), and that HHV-6 was the only virus tied to the onset of acute GVHD (p=0.016).

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Poor Outcome in ICU Patients with HHV-6 & CMV

Intensive care (ICU) patients with co-infections of HHV-6 and CMV are 7.5x more likely to die or have an extended stay in the hospital. On the other hand, single infections with either HHV-6 or CMV did not significantly impact outcome.

Multiplex PCR; HHV-6 loads higher with steroids

A large-scale multiplex PCR assay developed by a team in Japan was used to study 13 DNA viruses in 105 allogenic hematopoietic stem cell transplant patients. Their findings identify HHV-6 as the most common virus (found in 60% of all patients), and also as the only virus tied to the onset of acute GVHD (p=0.016). Interestingly, HHV-6 reactivation was associated with a more severe stage of skin but not liver or gut aGVHD (P=0.005). In addition, patients treated with steroids had a significantly higher risk of HHV-6 reactivation (p=0.027) and cord blood transplant patients were 10.4x more likely to reactivate with HHV-6. The authors looked at the association of HHV-6 reactivation in the absence of GVHD, and found that it …

Expert Opinion: Dr. Louis Flamand calls for screening of transplant organs and cells for ciHHV-6 status

Dr. Flamand, a professor and molecular virologist at Université Laval in Quebec city, has written an editorial calling for screening of organ donors for ciHHV-6 status and careful monitoring of recipients of ciHHV-6 donor tissues for signs of active HHV-6 infection and HHV-6 antigen-induced immune rejection. Flamand also questions whether solid organs and stem cells derived from persons with ciHHV-6 should be used in transplantation.

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