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%).
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.
A group from Hebrew University of Jerusalem has discovered the mechanism by cells with actively replicating HHV-6 evade elimination by natural killer (NK) cells.
Italian investigators found that 87% of patients with HHV-6 reactivations went on to develop a CMV infection. On the other hand, in patients who did not reactivate with HHV-6, only 33% developed an active CMV infection.
Only 11% of HHV-6 reactivated patients with poor immune reconstitution survived compared to 63% in patients with higher levels of T cells (or over 200 CD3+ lymphocytes per microliter).
A pregnant ciHHV-6B woman with a history of miscarriages was given weekly doses of high dose progesterone. Could progesterone, like hydrocortisone, activate integrated ciHHV-6 in vitro.
Investigators have found that HHV-6 DNA and mRNA are more prevalent in the autoimmune thyroiditis biopsies than in controls, according to investigators in Latvia. HHV-6 mRNA was found in 41% of the patient biopsies compared to 6% of controls.
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.
A retrospective analysis out of the Tokyo Metropolitan Cancer and Infectious Diseases Center reviewed 353 consecutive adult allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplant (allo-HSCT) cases and identified 17 cases of CNS infection post-transplant. As determined by PCR on cerebrospinal fluid, HHV-6 was found to be the causative agent in 6 cases, or 1.7% of all transplants.
A group from the University of Minnesota studied the T cells of umbilical cord blood transplant patients and found that CD4+ T lymphocytes co-expressing CD134 contained more than twice the level of HHV-6B than cells without CD134 expression. Surprisingly, almost 70% of the CD134 negative cells contained HHV-6.
A new study on HHV-6B shedding in saliva during and after exanthema subitum found that peak detection rates and viral loads occurred during the convalescent period, between 3 to 7 months post-illness. Detection rates were lower in adults than in children suggesting that siblings may be more likely to transmit the virus than parents.
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.
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.
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.
Chinese investigators from Nanjing Medical University report that HHV-6A infection of astrocytes are associated with differences in gene expression that are also found in several CNS diseases including Alzheimer’s, glioma and multiple sclerosis. The investigators used gene ontology analysis to determine the biological processes, cellular components, and molecular functions of the differentially expressed genes and signalling pathways.