European guidelines recommend treating HHV-6 disease with either foscarnet or ganciclovir, in contrast to the Japanese guidelines that recommend foscarnet as first line treatment due to a lower mortality rate.
Investigators at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and University of Washington in Seattle found that HHV-6B in lung fluid of bone marrow transplant recipients with pneumonia is associated with a 2-fold increased risk of death. Importantly, HHV-6B positive patients who were treated with an antiviral had a 60% lower risk of death.
A comprehensive study of DNA and RNA-Seq data demonstrated in vivo gene expression in many iciHHV-6 tissues, with strong expression of IE-1 and matching elevated antibody response in iciHHV-6 individuals compared to controls.
Japanese investigators evaluated cytokines and chemokines in the CSF and plasma in HHV-6 encephalitis patients with good and poor prognoses. They found IL-6, IL-7, MCP-1 to be elevated one week before onset, suggesting that these cytokines may be effective targets for intervention.
HHV-6 is rarely discussed at the major multiple sclerosis meetings but this year, Anna Fogdell-Hahn from Karolinska Institute was a featured speaker at the 35th meeting of the European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis.
A third of patients with acute liver failure were found to have a betaherpesvirus infection when tested for all herpesviruses. HHV-6 was the most common infection, followed by CMV and HHV-7. No other herpesviruses were found.
A Swiss team studied 134 young children who were experiencing unidentified high fevers and were able to find at least one virus in 35% of those patients. The two biggest culprits were enterovirus (14%) and HHV-6 (11%).
Israeli scientists have identified hundreds of new open reading frames, generating an unbiased atlas of the HHV-6 proteome. They also identified three highly abundant long non-coding RNAs.
Researchers from GlaxoSmithKline found a significant overlap in differentially expressed genes shared by those with herpesvirus infections, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. On the other hand, there was no significant overlap between herpesviruses and Type 2 diabetes or Huntington’s disease.
Persistent HHV-6 infection in the liver is hard to detect from plasma samples and liver biopsies may miss spotty infections. Bile fluid may be the best method for detecting herpesviruses that impact the liver.
A Mayo clinic review of long-term outcome of patients with HHV-6 encephalitis showed that over 60% showed persistent sequelae associated with severe bilateral hippocampal atrophy. Symptoms included anterograde amnesia, aphasia, headaches, confusion and persistent memory deficits.
Yasuko Mori, PhD, Professor of Clinical Virology at the Kobe University Graduate School of Medicine was awarded the HHV-6 Foundation’s Dharam Ablashi Lifetime Achievement Award at the 11th International Conference on HHV-6 & 7.
The U94 “latency” gene of HHV-6, interferes with breast cancer proliferation and potentiates chemotherapy.
A rapid point-of-care test for patients with encephalitis and meningitis was heralded as a breakthrough, but because the test is not able to determine ciHHV-6 status or viral load, it now has physicians frustrated over how to interpret a positive result.
A Chinese medicine that has been used for thousands of years, berberine inhibits replication of CMV at micromolar levels in vitro. It was also effective against drug resistant strains of CMV, as well against murine cytomegalovirus.