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New HHV-6 NIH grants awarded in 2017

In All by Kristin Loomis

Two new NIH grants awarded for studies related to HHV-6A and CNS disease. A Stanford group was also funded to develop whole genome sequencing platform to study HHV-6 and four other viruses post-transplant.

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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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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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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.