Investigators by at the University of Ferrara report intriguing alterations in intracellular regulation of HHV-6A-infected thyrocytes and T cells. HHV-6A, but not HHV-6B nor HHV-7, altered expression of several microRNAs in a pattern that is considered a marker for patients with autoimmune thyroid disease.
Investigators at Yale University warn that hypersensitivity-associated HHV-6 lymphadenopathy can have the same presentation as lymphoma.
The HHV-6 Foundation is pleased to announce the creation of a new $250,000 research fund to honor the work Dharam Ablashi, the co-discoverer of HHV-6. The gift was made possible by a generous donation from a patient family in appreciation of Dharam’s outstanding service to the field of HHV-6 research over four decades. The funds will be used to offer pilot grants of up to $25,000 each to investigators seeking to gather preliminary data before embarking on larger studies.
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.