Congrats to Seth Frietze, PhD of the University of Vermont for winning an NIH grant to study ciHHV6. Dr. Frietz and his team have developed a system to study HHV-6 latency and will study differential gene expression during viral integration as well as reactivation in response to triggering drugs such as HDAC inhibitors.
The recent publication of “Presence of HHV-6A in Endometrial Epithelial Cells from Women with Primary Unexplained Infertility” in PLOS ONE led to strong scientific and media interest across the world. The HHV-6 Foundation issued a rare press release to encourage the spread of the important results of this study, which may hold promise for many infertile couples.
Searching through Pubmed for HHV-6 related research is best done with a multi-keyword approach to find the most available studies at once. Certain variations of the HHV-6 viruses and their names (forgoing the use of a dash, for example) can mislead the search into finding incomplete results. To find the most relevant results, we recommend the copying the following search string when using Pubmed.
Dr. Joshua Hill, a research associate in Fred Hutch’s Vaccine and Infectious Disease Division, was awarded the Caroline B. Hall Young Investigator Award at the International HHV-6 & 7 Conference in Boston for his work on HHV-6.
Dr. Bhupesh Prusty, PhD, Group Leader in the Department of Microbiology at the University of Würzburg in Germany was recently awarded the Koichi Yamanishi Young Investigator Award for Excellence in Basic Science.
Philip Pellett, PhD, a Professor and Interim Chair of Immunology and Microbiology at the Wayne State University School of Medicine, was awarded the HHV-6 Foundation’s Dharam Ablashi Lifetime Achievement Award at the 9th International Conference on HHV-6 & 7.
In a French study of 366 adult allogenic hematopeietic stem cell transplantation (aHSCT) recipients CD8+ T cell recovery was significantly reduced in patients with HHV-6 reactivation. HHV-6 reactivation was also associated with reduced survival and increased infections of CMV and BKV.
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.
A group of researchers from Sao Paulo, Brazil reported the development of HHV-6 infection in the striatum of a 32-year-old man six weeks after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. This is the first reported case of HHV-6 infection affecting the striatum and presenting with Parkinsonism post-HSCT.
A group from Sapporo Medical University studied 105 post HSCT patients and determined that 7 developed CNS dysfunction in the first 42 days after transplant. Six out of the 7 were positive for HHV-6, but none of the other 12 pathogens tested. Four patients (3.8%) were diagnosed with HHV-6 encephalitis. The group used a qualitative multiplex PCR and then used a quantitative PCR to confirm the results.
In an article published in the Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal, Tetsushi Yoshikawa’s team from Fujita Health University School of Medicine determined that the severe neutropenia in primary HHV-6B infection is tied to reduced platelet counts, lower RANTES and higher levels of MCP-1, MIG and IP-10.
A large-scale multiplex PCR assay developed by a team in Japan was used to study 13 DNA viruses in 105 allogenic hematopoietic stem cell transplant patients. They found that patients treated with steroids had a significantly higher risk of HHV-6 reactivation (p=0.027), and that HHV-6 was the only virus tied to the onset of acute GVHD (p=0.016).
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.