A team in Japan has reports that ciHHV-6A prevalence is influenced by a “founder effect” and is likely derived from a common ancestor. All of the individuals in the small study were found to have HHV-6A integrated into the telomeric region of chromosome 22, a common site of integration.
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.
CD8+ T cells recover but CD4+ T cells remain low
Investigators in France discovered that monocytes and B lymphocytes recover quickly and become abnormally elevated by day 75 in cord blood patients, while they remain below normal or normal in stem cell patients. Although CD8 T cells recover, CD4+ T cells remain below normal levels for six months in both groups.
Italian investigators found that HHV-6 latency-associated gene U94, inserted in a HSV1 vector, inhibited the development of breast cancer, cervical cancer, and lung metastasis. It also impaired tumor driven angiogenesis.
Retrospective analysis of transplant patients revealed that low serum sodium levels are associated with HHV-6 encephalitis, but not HHV-6 myelitis. Low sodium is a possible marker for HHV-6 encephalitis post-transplantation.
A group led by Louis Flamand, PhD in Canada has developed a culture system that can be used to determine how the virus enters latency by integrating into the chromosome, and which drugs cause it to activate.
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.
Over a dozen studies have now found HHV-6 to predict aGVHD, but this is the first to correlate viral reactivation with poor CD4+ cell immune reconstitution.
Antibodies to HHV-6 and VZV dUTPases were significantly elevated in Gulf War Illness patients compared to controls, and EBV dUTPase antibodies were elevated in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome patients.
HHV-6B induces unique, region-specific DNA hypomethylation, and findings suggest that the epigenetic modification may facilitate HHV-6B integration.
A new study shows that HHV-6A direct repeats can survive alone in an integrated state without the rest of the viral genome. The study also identified non-telomeric integration of HHV-6A in both in vitro cultured cells as well as one iciHHV-6A patient.
Human papillomavirus 4 is a benign strain not associated with cancer. However, in a woman with inherited chromosomally integrated HHV-6A, a high grade vaginal squamous lesion developed rapidly. The authors warn that there may be a synergistic effect between HPV4 and iciHHV6A.
The group that recently discovered a ligand for U24 has expanded upon their previous experiments to further elucidate the viral protein’s interactions and functions as they pertain to MS.
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.
A retrospective study of allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplant patients at University of Washington found that reactivation of several double stranded DNA viruses significantly increased the risk of overall mortality, as did an increased quantitative burden of viral exposure. HHV-6B conferred a significantly increased risk for overall mortality.