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HHV-6 small non-coding RNA proposed as an indicator of an early stage of HHV-6 reactivation

In All, Alzheimer's Disease, Latest Scientific News by Kristin Loomis

German investigators have identified a marker for what they believe is the earliest stage of viral reactivation, or “transactivation” marked by transcription of several viral small non-coding RNAs in the absence of detectable viral replication. The group believes that these viral small RNAs could be developed as biomarkers.

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Gene-expression network analysis points to HHV-6A as a key driver in upregulating genes leading to Alzheimer’s disease progression

In All, Alzheimer's Disease, CNS Disease, CNS Dysfunction by Kristin Loomis

Investigators at Mt Sinai used “big data” models to determine that the genes involved with fighting Alzheimer’s are the same ones that fight virus. They found HHV-6A and HHV-7 to be more abundant in Alzheimer’s brains, and singled out HHV6-A as a key modulator of the genes involved in amyloidosis and neuronal death.

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HHV-6 small non-coding RNA proposed as an indicator of an early stage of HHV-6 reactivation

In All, Alzheimer's Disease, Latest Scientific News by Kristin Loomis

German investigators have identified a marker for what they believe is the earliest stage of viral reactivation, or “transactivation” marked by transcription of several viral small non-coding RNAs in the absence of detectable viral replication. The group believes that these viral small RNAs could be developed as biomarkers.

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Gene-expression network analysis points to HHV-6A as a key driver in upregulating genes leading to Alzheimer’s disease progression

In All, Alzheimer's Disease, CNS Disease, CNS Dysfunction by Kristin Loomis

Investigators at Mt Sinai used “big data” models to determine that the genes involved with fighting Alzheimer’s are the same ones that fight virus. They found HHV-6A and HHV-7 to be more abundant in Alzheimer’s brains, and singled out HHV6-A as a key modulator of the genes involved in amyloidosis and neuronal death.

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CXCL11 and CCL2 are specific to HHV-6B in febrile infants

In All, Alzheimer's Disease, Multiple Sclerosis by Kristin Loomis

Japanese investigators from Kobe University identified CXC11 as a chemokine uniquely expressed in primary HHV-6B infections. They also confirmed a previous finding that cytokine CCL2 (MCP-1) plays a role in HHV-6B primary infections. Both CXCL11 and CCL2 are expressed in several neuroinflammatory conditions including epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease and traumatic brain injury.

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

In All, Alzheimer's Disease by hhv6foundation

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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New mouse model for HHV-6 & 7

In All, Animal Models by Kristin Loomis

Investigators at Washington University have sequenced a murine herpesvirus and determined that it is closely related to HHV-6 & 7. Named Murine Rosesolovirus (MRV), the virus causes severe depletion of CD4+ T cells and thymic necrosis in young mice. The authors believe that MRV will be a useful mouse model to study the impact of HHV-6 & 7 in humans.

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HHV-7 homolog found in the peripheral nerve ganglia of macaques

In All, Animal Models, CNS Disease by Kristin Loomis

Virologists led by Serge Barcy, PhD at the Seattle Children’s Research Institute and University of Washington have identified a homolog for HHV-7 in pigtail macaques They were surprised to learn that it could be detected in the peripheral nerve ganglia, and hope to use their new animal model to explore how HHV-7 might play a role in demyelinating diseases.

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GAD antibodies & HHV-6 limbic encephalitis – a case of molecular mimicry?

In All, Autoimmune Disease, CNS Disease, CNS Dysfunction, Encephalitis & Encephalopathy, Epilepsy and Seizures, Latest Scientific News by Kristin Loomis

A fifth case of limbic encephalitis associated with GAD antibodies and HHV-6 infection has been reported, this time in an immunocompetent woman with chromosomally integrated HHV-6, epilepsy, and psychosis. The patient’s condition improved (with a drop in GAD antibody titers and stabilization of psychotic symptoms) in response to three weeks of antiviral therapy but relapsed when antiviral therapy was withdrawn.

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

In All, Autoimmune Disease by hhv6foundation

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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Inherited ciHHV-6 increases risk of developing acute GVHD and CMV in transplant patients

In All, Cancer, ciHHV-6, Transplant Complications by Kristin Loomis

A higher prevalence of inherited virus was found in patients

Investigators at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center determined that transplant patients with inherited ciHHV-6 were twice as likely to develop acute graft vs host disease and three times more likely to develop high level CMV viremia. Transplant patients were also significantly more likely to have inherited ciHHV-6 than donors.

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Does the high level of U94 in iciHHV-6 contribute to abnormal ‘marker’ chromosomes and cancer?

In All, Cancer, ciHHV-6 by Kristin Loomis

Investigators from the University of Ferrara, Italy have found evidence suggesting that high levels of U94 in ciHHV6 may predispose to the formation of marker chromosomes. A patient with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma positive for inherited chromosomally integrated HHV-6A and HHV-6A was also found in a marker chromosome, an abnormal piece of chromosome that is seen in some leukemia and lymphomas.

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HHV-6, HHV-7 & EBV found in lymphoproliferative disorders of the ocular adnexa

In All, Cancer by Kristin Loomis

Biopsies from patients with 5 types of lymphoproliferative disorders of the ocular adnexa, were found to contain HHV-6 DNA in 9 of 70 (12.9%) samples. While an overall detection rate of 12.9% is significant, HHV-6 was even more prevalent among those with benign lymphoproliferative disorders; HHV-6 was found in 22.7% of those with IgG4-related ophthalmic disease and 28.6% of those with orbital reactive lymphoid hyperplasia.

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EBV and HHV-6B but no CMV found in astrocytomas by digital droplet PCR

In All, Cancer, CNS Disease, Latest Scientific News by Kristin Loomis

A group from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, NIH, has reported finding Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) and HHV-6 but no cytomegalovirus (CMV) in astrocytomas, a brain tumor comprising approximately one quarter of all gliomas diagnosed. The group used digital droplet PCR (ddPCR), a technique that is highly precise but less sensitive than nested PCR and immunohistochemistry, techniques that have been used in previous studies.

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Delirium associated with HHV-6B reactivation in cord blood transplant patients: time for an antiviral prophylaxis trial?

In All, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Cognitive Dysfunction, Encephalitis & Encephalopathy, Showcase, Transplant Complications by Kristin Loomis

A prospective study authored by Joshua Hill and Danielle Zerr determined that higher than average HHV-6B DNA levels increased the odds of developing delirium after cord blood transplantation (CBT) by almost three fold. Patients with DNA loads in the top quartile had a 4.5 fold increase in delirium.

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Ancient iciHHV-6 genomes vary considerably from community strains, but still capable of reactivation

In All, ciHHV-6 by Kristin Loomis

British researchers used molecular dating methods to determine that most strains of iciHHV-6 come from a small number of ancient human ancestors; the youngest found lived over 24,000 years ago. These ancient strains vary considerably from modern non-inherited strains of HHV-6A and appear just as likely to activate as their more modern cousins.

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Multiple herpesvirus infections lead to telomere shortening

In All, ciHHV-6 by Kristin Loomis

Investigators at Kings College London report that seropositivity for CMV, Herpes simplex 1 and HHV-6 are all associated with a significant shortening of telomeres over a three-year period. Furthermore, the magnitude of the changes was large. For example, CMV seropositivity was associated with the equivalent of almost 12 years of chronological age.

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Inherited ciHHV-6 increases risk of developing acute GVHD and CMV in transplant patients

In All, Cancer, ciHHV-6, Transplant Complications by Kristin Loomis

A higher prevalence of inherited virus was found in patients

Investigators at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center determined that transplant patients with inherited ciHHV-6 were twice as likely to develop acute graft vs host disease and three times more likely to develop high level CMV viremia. Transplant patients were also significantly more likely to have inherited ciHHV-6 than donors.

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Does the high level of U94 in iciHHV-6 contribute to abnormal ‘marker’ chromosomes and cancer?

In All, Cancer, ciHHV-6 by Kristin Loomis

Investigators from the University of Ferrara, Italy have found evidence suggesting that high levels of U94 in ciHHV6 may predispose to the formation of marker chromosomes. A patient with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma positive for inherited chromosomally integrated HHV-6A and HHV-6A was also found in a marker chromosome, an abnormal piece of chromosome that is seen in some leukemia and lymphomas.

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Surprise finding : HHV-6 telomeric repeats are crucial for HHV-6 integration

In All, ciHHV-6, Latest Scientific News by Kristin Loomis

When the research team led by Benedikt Kaufer attempted to shed light on the mechanism behind HHV-6 integration, they were suprised to find telomeric repeats were critical to the integration process. Since the U94 gene shares homology and biological properties with the adenovirus Rep68 gene responsible for viral integration into human chromosomes, U94 was considered the most likely candidate to mediate HHV-6 integration.

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Can depression, psychiatric disorders and fatigue be triggered by a neurovirulent latent HHV-6B protein?

In All, CNS Disease, CNS Dysfunction, Cognitive Dysfunction by Kristin Loomis

Three virologists led by Kazuhiro Kondo, MD, PhD, a professor of virology at Jikei University School of Medicine, have filed a patent on a method to diagnose and treat prevent mood disorders which he says are initiated by latent and neurovirulent HHV-6B residing in glial cells, and that this condition can be treated effectively with nasal sprays, using the olfactory nerve as a route to the brain. Dr. Kondo has named this protein SITH-1 or “small protein encoded by intermediate state transcript”.

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Delirium associated with HHV-6B reactivation in cord blood transplant patients: time for an antiviral prophylaxis trial?

In All, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Cognitive Dysfunction, Encephalitis & Encephalopathy, Showcase, Transplant Complications by Kristin Loomis

A prospective study authored by Joshua Hill and Danielle Zerr determined that higher than average HHV-6B DNA levels increased the odds of developing delirium after cord blood transplantation (CBT) by almost three fold. Patients with DNA loads in the top quartile had a 4.5 fold increase in delirium.

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HHV-6 reactivation tied to early hypogammaglobulinemia in drug hypersensitivity syndrome

In All, Drug Hypersensitivity, Immune Dysfunction by Kristin Loomis

A Spanish study of drug-induced eosinophilia found that early hypogammaglobulinemia was associated with subsequent HHV-6 reactivation in patients with severe drug hypersensitivity syndromes. This study of 274 cases at La Paz University Hospital in Madrid confirms earlier reports from Japan and France that described transient reductions of total IgG at the outset of drug hypersensitivity reactions leading to HHV-6 reactivation.

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Does CD134 upregulation explain why HHV-6 reactivates preferentially in DRESS/ DIHS?

In All, Drug Hypersensitivity, Latest Scientific News, Rash & Roseola, Transplant Complications by Kristin Loomis

It has long been a mystery why HHV-6 is preferentially reactivated in drug reaction with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms (DRESS), also known as drug induced hypersensitivity syndrome (DIHS). HHV-6 reactivation occurs in over 60% of severe cases and is part of the definition of DIHS in Japan. Investigators in Japan suspect that the explanation may lie with the CD134 receptor on activated CD4 cells.

HHV-6 induced kidney damage in drug hypersensitivity

In Drug Hypersensitivity, Kidney Disease by hhv6foundation

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 …

Pediatric drug hypersensitivity cases with HHV-6 reactivation have a more severe disease and longer hospital stays

In All, Drug Hypersensitivity by hhv6foundation

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.

Interview with Drs. Ishida and Shiohara

In All, Drug Hypersensitivity by hhv6foundation

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 All, Drug Hypersensitivity by hhv6foundation

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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Foscarnet prophylaxis reduces severity but does not prevent HHV-6 encephalitis

In All, Encephalitis & Encephalopathy, Transplant Complications, Treatments - Antiviral by Kristin Loomis

A Japanese trial of foscarnet prophylaxis in cord blood transplant patients was successful in reducing severity and mortality as well as suppressing high viral loads, but it failed to prevent encephalitis. The authors note that the blood brain barrier must be inflamed to allow effective penetration of the drug into the central nervous system and speculate that the prophylaxis may have protected the meninges.

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HHV-6 induced amnesia after rituximab therapy for autoimmune disease

In All, CNS Dysfunction, Encephalitis & Encephalopathy, Transplant Complications by Kristin Loomis

A young woman on rituximab and two other immunomodulatory agents for the treatment of dermatomyositis developed encephalitis with severe anterograde amnesia. As the use of biologic treatments for refractory autoimmune disease has been increasing, physicians are advised to consider HHV-6 and offer prompt antiviral therapy to limit irreversible morbidity.

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Rapid point-of-care system screens for 14 encephalitis pathogens in one hour!

In All, CNS Disease, CNS Dysfunction, Encephalitis & Encephalopathy by Kristin Loomis

A new point-of-care assay from bioMérieux can simultaneously and rapidly detect 14 pathogens typically found in encephalitis. The machine is designed to be at the clinic or in the emergency room and can be operated by unskilled technicians. In a study of 1,560 immunocompetent patient samples, a total of 1.35% were positive for HHV-6, or about twice the expected rate of 0.8% found with the inherited chromosomally integrated HHV-6.

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GAD antibodies & HHV-6 limbic encephalitis – a case of molecular mimicry?

In All, Autoimmune Disease, CNS Disease, CNS Dysfunction, Encephalitis & Encephalopathy, Epilepsy and Seizures, Latest Scientific News by Kristin Loomis

A fifth case of limbic encephalitis associated with GAD antibodies and HHV-6 infection has been reported, this time in an immunocompetent woman with chromosomally integrated HHV-6, epilepsy, and psychosis. The patient’s condition improved (with a drop in GAD antibody titers and stabilization of psychotic symptoms) in response to three weeks of antiviral therapy but relapsed when antiviral therapy was withdrawn.

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Delirium associated with HHV-6B reactivation in cord blood transplant patients: time for an antiviral prophylaxis trial?

In All, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Cognitive Dysfunction, Encephalitis & Encephalopathy, Showcase, Transplant Complications by Kristin Loomis

A prospective study authored by Joshua Hill and Danielle Zerr determined that higher than average HHV-6B DNA levels increased the odds of developing delirium after cord blood transplantation (CBT) by almost three fold. Patients with DNA loads in the top quartile had a 4.5 fold increase in delirium.

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HHV-6 identified in 12% of simple and 42% of complex pediatric febrile seizures

In All, CNS Disease, CNS Dysfunction, Epilepsy and Seizures by Kristin Loomis

Australian investigators studied 143 young children with febrile seizures for signs of viral infection and found that HHV-6 was the fifth most common virus after rhinovirus (22%), enterovirus (20%), adenovirus (21%) and influenza (13%). Overall, a virus was found in 71% of cases. Virus found in complex seizures was associated with HHV-6 (42%) or influenza (41%).

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GAD antibodies & HHV-6 limbic encephalitis – a case of molecular mimicry?

In All, Autoimmune Disease, CNS Disease, CNS Dysfunction, Encephalitis & Encephalopathy, Epilepsy and Seizures, Latest Scientific News by Kristin Loomis

A fifth case of limbic encephalitis associated with GAD antibodies and HHV-6 infection has been reported, this time in an immunocompetent woman with chromosomally integrated HHV-6, epilepsy, and psychosis. The patient’s condition improved (with a drop in GAD antibody titers and stabilization of psychotic symptoms) in response to three weeks of antiviral therapy but relapsed when antiviral therapy was withdrawn.

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Superinfection of HHV-6A in ciHHV6A patients with recurrent cardiac disease: a full genome analysis

In All, ciHHV-6, Heart Disease, Latest Scientific News by Kristin Loomis

A group led by Ursula Gompels from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, University of London, did next generation sequencing on three ciHHV6A cardiac patients and found superinfections of HHV-6A in two of the three. They characterized the first full genome sequence of ciHHV-6A and demonstrated the inherited ciHHV6 genome was similar but distinct from known exogenous (community acquired) strains of HHV-6A .

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Stanford uses non-invasive new assay to detect occult infections including HHV-6 after lung transplantion

In All, Heart Disease, Transplant Complications by Kristin Loomis

Researchers from Stanford University successfully used circulating cell-free DNA to identify infections in lung transplants that can often be found only with a more invasive transbronchial biopsy. This hypothesis free approach led to find HHV-6 & 7 at high levels in patients with infections, even though these viruses are not generally considered lung pathogens.

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HHV-6 myocarditis, pericarditis following transplantation

In All, Heart Disease, Transplant Complications by Kristin Loomis

A hematology group in Australia reported a case of biopsy-proven HHV-6 myocarditis post-hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). he post-mortem exam confirmed dilated cardiomyopathy and focal changes consistent with viral myocarditis and cardiac tissue was positive for HHV-6 DNA by nested and quantitative PCR. Separately, A Japanese group reported a worman who developed pericarditis with over 10,000 copies/ml of HHV-6 DNA in the pericardial fluid, after a cord blood transplant.

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

In All, Heart Disease by hhv6foundation

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.

CiHHV-6A is the dominant virus in malignancy and inflammatory disease cases, while ciHHV-6B is the dominant virus in myocarditis cases

In All, ciHHV-6, Heart Disease by hhv6foundation

A sequencing study led by Ursula Gompels of London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, found that 95% (19/21) of Czech ciHHV-6 malignancy and inflammatory disease patients had ciHHV6A while 65% (13/20) of a German myocarditis cohort had ciHHV-6B. The authors propose that this divergence suggests different disease links for the two viruses.

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HHV-6A, infertility and miscarriage: a hypothesis

In All, Endocrine Conditions, Immune Dysfunction, Infertility & Miscarriage by Kristin Loomis

Growing evidence implicates HHV-6, especially HHV-6A, in some cases of female infertility, miscarriage, and other gestational problems affecting both the mother and child. The authors of the paper wonder if heparin, an anticoagulant with antiviral properties often used to treat infertility, might mitigate the detrimental effects of HHV-6 in the uterine environment.

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HHV-6A infection of the uterus linked to infertility

In All, Endocrine Conditions, Infertility & Miscarriage, Latest Scientific News by Kristin Loomis

A new study reported that HHV-6A infects the lining of the uterus in 43% of women with unexplained infertility but cannot be found in uterine lining of fertile women.  Furthermore, the cytokine and the natural killer cell profiles were very different in patients with the infection. HHV-6A was found only in uterine endothelial cells, and not in the blood.

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HHV-6 induced kidney damage in drug hypersensitivity

In Drug Hypersensitivity, Kidney Disease by hhv6foundation

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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HHV-6 small non-coding RNA proposed as an indicator of an early stage of HHV-6 reactivation

In All, Alzheimer's Disease, Latest Scientific News by Kristin Loomis

German investigators have identified a marker for what they believe is the earliest stage of viral reactivation, or “transactivation” marked by transcription of several viral small non-coding RNAs in the absence of detectable viral replication. The group believes that these viral small RNAs could be developed as biomarkers.

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HHV-6 in the news!

In Latest Scientific News by Kristin Loomis

After years of very little interest by the scientific community, there has suddenly been a lot of interest in HHV-6A, which along with HHV-7, appears to be central to the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.

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Drug-induced liver injury and HHV-6 reactivation without rash or fever

In All, Liver Disease, Transplant Complications by Kristin Loomis

Another case of drug induced liver injury accompanied by HHV-6 reactivation has been reported in Japan, the second such case without exanthema to be described. An earlier case was reported last year (Fujita 2015). The authors suggest that drug-induced liver injury cases be investigated for HHV-6 reactivation when liver dysfunction begins several weeks after the initiation of a new drug typically associated with hypersensitivity syndromes.

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HHV-6 can cause “idiopathic” pneumonia

In All, Lung Disease by hhv6foundation

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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Latent HHV-6A may impair myelin repair in multiple sclerosis

In All, CNS Disease, Multiple Sclerosis by Kristin Loomis

A group at University of Rochester demonstrated that the HHV-6A latency gene, U94, inhibits migration of cells involved in myelin repair. Inefficient myelin repair is associated with progression MS, and the ability of HHV-6A to impede this process suggests that it could be involved in the progression of MS, and raises questions about the virus’s role in other chronic demyelinating diseases.

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CXCL11 and CCL2 are specific to HHV-6B in febrile infants

In All, Alzheimer's Disease, Multiple Sclerosis by Kristin Loomis

Japanese investigators from Kobe University identified CXC11 as a chemokine uniquely expressed in primary HHV-6B infections. They also confirmed a previous finding that cytokine CCL2 (MCP-1) plays a role in HHV-6B primary infections. Both CXCL11 and CCL2 are expressed in several neuroinflammatory conditions including epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease and traumatic brain injury.

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New research shows HLA modulation caused by acute HHV-6A infection of mesothelial cells

In All, Endocrine Conditions, Latest Scientific News, Multiple Sclerosis by Kristin Loomis

HHV-6A infection of mesothelial cells causes HLA molecule modulation. This study demonstrates, for the first time, that human mesothelial cells are susceptible to HHV-6A infection. They also show that the virus causes modulated HLA expression on the cell surface, inducing the de novo expression of HLA class II and HLA-G

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

In All, Multiple Sclerosis, Uncategorized by hhv6foundation

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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Foscarnet prophylaxis reduces severity but does not prevent HHV-6 encephalitis

In All, Encephalitis & Encephalopathy, Transplant Complications, Treatments - Antiviral by Kristin Loomis

A Japanese trial of foscarnet prophylaxis in cord blood transplant patients was successful in reducing severity and mortality as well as suppressing high viral loads, but it failed to prevent encephalitis. The authors note that the blood brain barrier must be inflamed to allow effective penetration of the drug into the central nervous system and speculate that the prophylaxis may have protected the meninges.

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HHV-6B reactivates first, proceeds to end organ disease faster in transplant patients

In All, Gastrointestinal, Transplant Complications by Kristin Loomis

Investigators at Fred Hutch Cancer Research Center found that HHV-6B is the first DNA virus to reactivate at a median of 3 weeks, compared to CMV, EBV and Adenovirus at 5-6 weeks. HHV-6B also peaked rapidly, unlike other DNA viruses that took 3-6 weeks to reach peak viral load. HHV-6B reactivation resulted in increased mortality after 100 days.

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Virus-specific immunotherapy for transplant patients with primary immune deficiencies

In All, Immune Dysfunction, Transplant Complications, Treatments - Adoptive T cell by Kristin Loomis

A group from Baylor College of Medicine reviewed the efficacy of treating viral infections in transplant patients with primary immunodeficiencies using their viral-specific T lymphocytes. A total of 36 patients were treated with these immunotherapy infusions before or after undergoing hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, and a complete or partial antiviral response were seen in 86% of patients with CMV, 76% of patients with EBV and all patients with adenovirus or HHV-6.

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Foscarnet prophylaxis reduces severity but does not prevent HHV-6 encephalitis

In All, Encephalitis & Encephalopathy, Transplant Complications, Treatments - Antiviral by Kristin Loomis

A Japanese trial of foscarnet prophylaxis in cord blood transplant patients was successful in reducing severity and mortality as well as suppressing high viral loads, but it failed to prevent encephalitis. The authors note that the blood brain barrier must be inflamed to allow effective penetration of the drug into the central nervous system and speculate that the prophylaxis may have protected the meninges.

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Low dose emetine shows promise as a herpesvirus antiviral

In All, Latest Scientific News, Treatments - Antiviral by Kristin Loomis

Investigators at Johns Hopkins have determined that emetine, an older drug used to treat dysentery as well as to induce vomiting, is also effective against cytomegalovirus (CMV/HHV-5). Not only was emetine effective at an extremely low dose, it demonstrated a synergistic effect when combined with ganciclovir in a mouse model of CMV infection and it worked at a much earlier stage of viral replication than the drugs currently in use.

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Genome editing to clear latent herpesvirus infection

In All, Latest Scientific News, Treatments - Antiviral by Kristin Loomis

A group from the University Medical Center in the Netherlands has shown that new gene editing technology can be used to impair viral replication and clear latent herpesvirus infections. The group used a CRISPR-Cas system to target viral genetic elements that completely eliminated CMV and HSV1 replication. They were also able to clear latent EBV from transformed human tumor cells.

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