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Low dose emetine shows promise as a herpesvirus antiviral

In All, Latest Scientific News, Treatments - Antiviral by Kristin Loomis

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.

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HHV-6A gene activity linked to central nervous system disease

In All, CNS Disease, Latest Scientific News by Kristin Loomis

Chinese investigators from Nanjing Medical University report that HHV-6A infection of astrocytes are associated with differences in gene expression that are also found in several CNS diseases including Alzheimer’s, glioma and multiple sclerosis. The investigators used gene ontology analysis to determine the biological processes, cellular components, and molecular functions of the differentially expressed genes and signalling pathways.

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EBV and HHV-6B but no CMV found in astrocytomas by digital droplet PCR

In All, Cancer, CNS Disease, Latest Scientific News by Kristin Loomis

A group from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, NIH, has reported finding Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) and HHV-6 but no cytomegalovirus (CMV) in astrocytomas, a brain tumor comprising approximately one quarter of all gliomas diagnosed. The group used digital droplet PCR (ddPCR), a technique that is highly precise but less sensitive than nested PCR and immunohistochemistry, techniques that have been used in previous studies.

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Surprise finding : HHV-6 telomeric repeats are crucial for HHV-6 integration

In All, ciHHV-6, Latest Scientific News, Molecular Biology by Kristin Loomis

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.

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Does CD134 upregulation explain why HHV-6 reactivates preferentially in DRESS/ DIHS?

In All, Drug Hypersensitivity, Latest Scientific News, Skin Conditions, Transplant Complications by Kristin Loomis

It has long been a mystery why HHV-6 is preferentially reactivated in drug reaction with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms (DRESS), also known as drug induced hypersensitivity syndrome (DIHS). HHV-6 reactivation occurs in over 60% of severe cases and is part of the definition of DIHS in Japan. Investigators in Japan suspect that the explanation may lie with the CD134 receptor on activated CD4 cells.

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HHV-6 & 7 found in spinal fluid of immunocompetent children suspected of CNS infection

In All, CNS Disease, CNS Dysfunction, Latest Scientific News by Kristin Loomis

An Italian study on immunocompetent children with suspected CNS infections found HHV-6 and HHV-7 DNA in 4.2% and 4.8% of 304 cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) samples, respectively. Although once considered rare in the immunocompetent, recent studies with more sensitive methods have found HHV-6 in the CSF of 4-17% of immunocompetent children with seizures or suspected CNS infections.

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Superinfection of HHV-6A in ciHHV6A patients with recurrent cardiac disease: a full genome analysis

In All, ciHHV-6, Genes & Proteins, Heart Disease, Latest Scientific News by Kristin Loomis

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 .

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New research shows HLA modulation caused by acute HHV-6A infection of mesothelial cells

In All, Endocrine Conditions, Latest Scientific News, Multiple Sclerosis, Thyroid Disease by Kristin Loomis

HHV-6A infection of mesothelial cells causes HLA molecule modulation. This study demonstrates, for the first time, that human mesothelial cells are susceptible to HHV-6A infection. They also show that the virus causes modulated HLA expression on the cell surface, inducing the de novo expression of HLA class II and HLA-G

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Joshua Hill awarded a 5-year grant to study HHV-6

In All, Latest Scientific News by hhv6foundation

Congratulations to Joshua Hill, MD, Acting Instructor at the University of Washington and Research Associate at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, who has won a K23 grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to study HHV-6 in lower respiratory tract disease and chromosomally integrated HHV-6 after stem cell transplantation (SCT).