Pathogenic role for HHV-6B in in mesial temporal lobe epilepsyJapanese 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.Read the Full Story
Tetsushi Yoshikawa and Yoshiki Kawamura just published an important study linking HHV-6B in brain tissues to sclerosis in mesial temporal lobe epilepsy. We asked him about this future plans and whether he plans to treat these patients.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A group at the University of Pennsylvania performed a retroactive study of 29 pediatric patients hospitalized with drug hypersensitivity reactions and found that those who reactivated with HHV-6 had longer lengths of stay (11.5 days vs. 5. days) and more severe illness. They were not able to determine the impact of steroid administration in HHV-6 positive patients.
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.
A team of Chinese investigators led by Dr. Jin-Mei Li at West China Hospital has identified a possible synergy between a polymorphism of Apolipoprotein E (ApoE) and HHV-6B infection, resulting in a higher viral load and seizure frequency in these patients.
Repository of Reagents
Reagents for conducting HHV-6 & 7 research are available through the HHV-6 Foundation Repository
The HHV-6 Foundation in a non-profit entity founded to encourage scientific exchange between investigators and to provide pilot grants for promising scientific and clinical research on the under- appreciated viruses HHV-6A and HHV-6B. The Foundation sponsors international conferences and supports scientists and clinicians seeking to clarify the role of the two HHV-6 viruses in disease. Since the HHV-6A and HHV-6B can smolder in the brain and other organs without circulating in the peripheral blood or plasma, identifying chronic infection is a challenge.
ciHHV-6 Patient Registry
Except for transplant patients, HHV-6 plasma DNA tests are rarely positive. Any patient testing positive should rule out chromosomally integrated HHV-6, a condition that may be associated with increased HHV-6 reactivation.