Two reviews have been published on the roles of HHV-6 in liver transplantation and in pediatric inflammatory cardiomyopathy in the immunocompetent. Both reviews stress the importance of biopsies for diagnosis since HHV-6 DNA is rarely found in the plasma in spite of persistent reactivation in the organ.
Although only a small number of pediatric cases have been reported in literature, the authors conclude that evidence suggests HHV-6 should be considered as a causative agent of inflammatory cardiomyopathy, particularly in young children (under 3 years of age) who might be experiencing a primary infection.
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 .
A case report published by a group at the University of Minnesota details two cases of fatal myocarditis associated with HHV-6 in two immunosuppressed children.
Researchers from Stanford University successfully used circulating cell-free DNA to identify infections in lung transplants that can often be found only with a more invasive transbronchial biopsy. This hypothesis free approach led to find HHV-6 & 7 at high levels in patients with infections, even though these viruses are not generally considered lung pathogens.
A hematology group in Australia reported a case of biopsy-proven HHV-6 myocarditis post-hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). he post-mortem exam confirmed dilated cardiomyopathy and focal changes consistent with viral myocarditis and cardiac tissue was positive for HHV-6 DNA by nested and quantitative PCR. Separately, A Japanese group reported a worman who developed pericarditis with over 10,000 copies/ml of HHV-6 DNA in the pericardial fluid, after a cord blood transplant.
80% of infants with myocarditis were positive for a cardiotropic virus compared to less than 4% of healthy controls, according to a multicenter study led by researchers at Washington University in St. Louis. This was a far higher rate than in older children.
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.
Numerous case reports and studies have now tied HHV-6 to myocarditis and cardiomyopathies. To further investigate this relationship, investigators from one of the top cardiology clinics in Europe performed a study to determine the outcome of patients discovered to have HHV-6 in their cardiac tissue during the initial biopsy screen.
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.
Berlin Charite study shows heart failure patients with active ciHHV-6 can be treated successfully with antivirals.
The cardiology clinic at the Campus Benjamin Franklin, Charité – University Medicine Berlin is recognized as leading center for using state-of-the art mRNA analysis to diagnose active infections the biopsy tissue of myocarditis and heart failure patients.
Group suggests cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) may be an important tool for the timely diagnosis
A group from Children’s Heart Centre in Lund, Sweden, has used Artesunate as an effective antiviral therapy to aid in the treatment of a child with HHV-6B myocarditis.
Unusually high rate of active HHV-6 infection detected among hospital patients with cardiac disease.
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