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New findings on how HHV-6A/B U94 blocks angiogenesis

The HHV-6 latency gene U94 has been found to block angiogenesis, but the mechanisms behind this phenomenon have been unclear. A team lead by Roberta Rizzo and Elisabetta Caselli in Italy shed light on this process, opening the door to new potential molecular targets to pursue in treating diseases marked by improper vascularization.

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HHV-6A & B dysregulate autophagy differently in HSB-2 cells

A group led by Mara Cirone in Italy found that HHV-6B blocks autophagy in HSB-2 cells. Both HSV-1 and CMV have proteins that block autophagy, and HHV-6B carries genes that are homologues of those encoding for CMV’s anti-autophagy protein. Her next step is to study the impact of both HHV-6A and HHV-6B on autophagy in neuronal cells.

NEJM HIGHLIGHTS A CASE OF HHV-6 REACTIVATION IN DRESS

The NEJM rarely covers HHV-6, but did an excellent case history of this patient with HHV-6 reactivation in conjunction with DRESS. The patient was not treated with an antiviral in spite of a plasma HHV-6 DNA load of 112,836, extensive lymphadenopathy, rash and abnormal liver function tests. What did NEJM get wrong? They stated ciHHV6 could be ruled out because a) the viral load was only log 5 on a plasma DNA test and b) the viral load dropped to less than 500 copies/ml. The plasma viral load in a ciHHV-6 patient can fall below 500 copies/ml if the blood is centrifuged within a few hours. On the other hand, ciHHV-6 samples shipped overnight and centrifuged the next day, are …

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HHV-6 in the news!

After years of very little interest by the scientific community, there has suddenly been a lot of interest in HHV-6A, which along with HHV-7, appears to be central to the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.