When the research team led by Benedikt Kaufer attempted to shed light on the mechanism behind HHV-6 integration, they were suprised to find telomeric repeats were critical to the integration process. Since the U94 gene shares homology and biological properties with the adenovirus Rep68 gene responsible for viral integration into human chromosomes, U94 was considered the most likely candidate to mediate HHV-6 integration.
A group led by Ursula Gompels from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, University of London, did next generation sequencing on three ciHHV6A cardiac patients and found superinfections of HHV-6A in two of the three. They characterized the first full genome sequence of ciHHV-6A and demonstrated the inherited ciHHV6 genome was similar but distinct from known exogenous (community acquired) strains of HHV-6A .
In an article published this month in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Dr. Louis Flamand’s team has described a relationship between inherited chromosomally integrated HHV-6 (iciHHV-6) and the development of angina pectoris.
Since the discovery of chromosomally integrated HHV-6 (ciHHV-6), investigators have wondered about the potential consequences of having chromosome integrated HHV-6 in the genome.
A sequencing study led by Ursula Gompels of London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, found that 95% (19/21) of Czech ciHHV-6 malignancy and inflammatory disease patients had ciHHV6A while 65% (13/20) of a German myocarditis cohort had ciHHV-6B. The authors propose that this divergence suggests different disease links for the two viruses.
ciHHV-6 infants score 4 points lower than controls on the Bayley Mental Development Index
Scottish study finds inheritance of ciHHV-6 does not increase the risk of developing cHL
Dr. Flamand, a professor and molecular virologist at Université Laval in Quebec city, has written an editorial calling for screening of organ donors for ciHHV-6 status and careful monitoring of recipients of ciHHV-6 donor tissues for signs of active HHV-6 infection and HHV-6 antigen-induced immune rejection. Flamand also questions whether solid organs and stem cells derived from persons with ciHHV-6 should be used in transplantation.
Experts emphasize need for larger studies to determine the impact of ciHHV-6 on patient outcomes
Berlin Charite study shows heart failure patients with active ciHHV-6 can be treated successfully with antivirals.
The University of Washington and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center are at the forefront of studying the role of HHV-6 and ciHHV-6 in stem cell transplant patients. We asked their view on the implications immunocompromised patients with integrated HHV-6A reactivating with their own inherited virus.
Three important tests for HHV-6 will now be available at Coppe Labs, including two that are not available commercially at any other location: the mRNA test for assessing active infection and immunohistochemistry analysis for biopsy samples.
The inherited strain of HHV-6A in an immunosuppressed infant activated and caused hemophagocytic syndrome that was responsive to antiviral treatment. The isolated strain matched that of his ciHHV6 father.
Two papers published this month highlight the potential of the new 3rd generation PCR assays in the field of HHV-6 diagnostics.
HIV+ individuals with ciHHV-6 may experience lower severity HIV disease.