HHV-6B directly infects thymocytes, presumably affecting thymopoeisis. A review in Bone Marrow Transplantation explores the intriguing relationship between HHV-6B, T-cell reconstitution and aGVHD after allogenic hematopoietic cell transplantation.
The authors discuss how HHV-6 may contribute to the progression of reactive lymphoproliferative disorders by spurring a dysfunctional immune response.
Dutch investigators found that hematopoietic cell transplant patients with high levels of HHV-6 viremia have reduced late immune reconstitution while early reconstitution was not affected.
A gigantic sequencing effort by investigators at University of Washington has provided a wealth of new information about the HHV-6B genome, including important flaws of the reference strains currently in use.
Stanford investigators found that high levels of HHV-6 viremia following allogeneic stem cell transplants were associated end organ disease and greater non-relapse mortality.
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.
A broadscale investigation of the ovarian cancer oncobiome using a microarray system PathoChip found HHV-6A sequences at or near genes associated with tumorigenesis in ovarian cancer tissue samples.
The autopsy of an infant with HHV-6B encephalitis showed a 4-5 fold increase in the viral load of the hippocampus compared to other parts of the brain. Neurons, oligodendrocytes and vascular endothelial cells were infected, but not astrocytes or microglia.
Italian investigators showed that HHV-6A and -6B infection of natural killer cells have a remarkable effect on the expression of miRNAs and transcription factors, which in turn control natural killer cell development, maturation and function.
A team at University of Pittsburgh analyzed a large database of deep sequencing data from tumor and control tissues to look for viral sequences in 22 different cancers. They were surprised to find several herpesviruses in gastrointestinal cancers but not in control tissues.
The 11th International Conference on HHV-6 & 7 will be held in beautiful Quebec City, Canada June 23–26, 2019.
HHV-6 is rarely identified as the cause of liver dysfunction in immunocompetent children, in part because HHV-6 is not included in routine testing, and HHV-6 infections can be highly localized to the liver. In this case, an alert team in Arizona identified HHV-6 by needle biopsy.
Japanese investigators described HHV-6 myelitis in patients who had received cord blood transplantations and report that where HHV-6 reactivation is suspected, early antiviral intervention can dramatically improve patient outcomes.
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.
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.