So far only one case report has documented HHV-6B reactivation in COVID-19, but the rise in Kawasaki-like symptoms and pityriasis rosea has at least one dermatology group suspicious of HHV-6/7 reactivation.
European guidelines published for diagnosing, preventing, and managing HHV-6 disease
European guidelines recommend treating HHV-6 disease with either foscarnet or ganciclovir, in contrast to the Japanese guidelines that recommend foscarnet as first line treatment due to a lower mortality rate.
HHV-6B lung infection doubles the mortality rate of transplant patients with respiratory disease
Investigators at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and University of Washington in Seattle found that HHV-6B in lung fluid of bone marrow transplant recipients with pneumonia is associated with a 2-fold increased risk of death. Importantly, HHV-6B positive patients who were treated with an antiviral had a 60% lower risk of death.
HHV-6 increases risk of an “idiopathic” pneumonia syndrome after HCT as does murine roseolovirus in a BMT mouse model. Early HHV-6 was also found to increase non-relapse mortality
Investigators from University of Michigan have demonstrated that murine roseolovirus is a useful homolog for the study of HHV-6 reactivation in lung disease. In a large retrospective study of HCT patients, they also found early HHV-6 reactivation to increase the risk of both idiopathic pneumonia syndrome and non-relapse mortality.
High rate of HHV-6 end-organ disease and mortality in pediatric transplant patients
Stanford investigators found that high levels of HHV-6 viremia following allogeneic stem cell transplants were associated end organ disease and greater non-relapse mortality.
HHV-6 can cause “idiopathic” pneumonia
A pivotal study, led by Michael Boeckh at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, has determined that occult infections contribute to 57% of all cases of “idiopathic” pneumonia syndrome (IPS), a condition previously assumed to be non-infectious. HHV-6 was the dominant pathogen representing 29% of cases.
HHV-6 associated with ‘fever of unknown origin’ and cough in pediatric patients
Study finds HHV-6 DNA in children with unexplained fever at significantly higher levels than in patients without fever