New NIH Grants Relating to HHV-6

(This list excludes intramural grants as well as multi-year grants such as those to University of Massachusetts, Fred Hutch/University of Washington.)

Dharam Ablashi awarded honorary doctorate by University of Rhode Island

URI President David M. Dooley presented HHV-6 Scientific Director Dharam Ablashi with an honorary doctorate degree at their May 2018 graduation ceremonies. Dooley noted that the degree is awarded to “distinguished individuals, whose accomplishments exemplify our common values of integrity, honesty, compassion, creativity and civic-mindedness.” He is well-loved by hundreds in the medical and scientific community not only for his brilliant mind and work ethic, but because of the generosity with his time and advice and the courtesy he has shown to others in the field. Remarks by President Dooley upon the presentation of the reward can be viewed in this six minute video. Dharam Ablashi receiving his honorary doctorate at commencement ceremonies at University of Rhode Island. Dharam Ablashi …

Louis Flamand awarded 5-year grant on HHV-6 chromosomal integration

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research has awarded Louis Flamand, PhD,  and his Research Center at Laval University a five-year grant to continue his work on inherited chromosomally integrated HHV-6. The grant was based in part on work done with the aid the HHV-6 Foundation’s Dharam Ablashi Pilot Grant Fund. Congratulations to Louis and his team including Annie Gravel, Vanessa Collin and Isabelle Dubuc. A description of his planned objectives is copied below. Flamand: Funded Grant Objectives First, to determine the impact of HHV-6 integration on cellular homeostasis. To study this, iPSC lines from primary cells of iciHHV-6+subjects and controls, generated with the aid of a grant from the HHV-6 Foundation, will be utilized. These cells will be used to study …

Additional Publications – April 2018

Contributions of neurotropic human herpesviruses herpes simplex virus 1 and human herpesvirus 6 to neurodegenerative disease pathology. Clinical Significance of HHV-6 Positivity on the FilmArray Meningitis/Encephalitis Multiplex PCR Panel. Herpesviruses excretion in saliva of pediatric transplant recipients. Viruses in chronic progressive neurologic disease. Age-Related Macular Degeneration: A Connection between Human Herpes Virus-6A-Induced CD46 Downregulation and Complement Activation? Hypothesis: Is there a link between the immune response to HHV-6A infection and the interaction network of the genes encoding the CTSS, PTX3, CHI3L1, Mx1, CXCL16, BIRC3 and BST2 proteins? Paediatric case series of DRESS and the first reported use of infliximab Prevalence of salivary human herpesviruses in pediatric multiple sclerosis cases and controls. Report of a Myocarditis Outbreak among Pediatric Patients: Human …

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David Mock awarded a National MS Society grant to study HHV-6A U94 and remyelination

David Mock, MD of the University of Rochester. David Mock, MD of the University of Rochester. Congratulations to David Mock, MD of the University of Rochester, who has received a pilot grant from the nation’s leading MS non-profit to investigate the role of HHV-6A U94 in impairing the remyelination process. His group plans to develop a novel mouse model in which U94 can be specifically regulated in mouse oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (OPC’s), the cells that typically migrate to the site of myelin damage to jumpstart the repair process. Mock plans to use Cuprizone demyelinated mice to determine the impact of HHV-6 U94 expression. He will work with long-term collaborators Margot Mayer-Proschel and Christoph Proschel to conduct the experiment, which will …

Congratulations to Luca Bartolini for his American Epilepsy Society grant

Luca Bartolini, MD, a neurologist with Children’s National, was awarded a $50,000/year early career grant administered by the American Epilepsy Society and supported by the Epilepsy Foundation for a study of viral and inflammatory causes of epilepsy. The research will be conducted at the National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Stroke (NINDS), NIH, where Dr. Bartolini will become an Epilepsy Fellow. His mentors will include Steve Jacobson, PhD, Chief, Viral Immunology Section, as well as William D. Gaillard, MD, Chief, Division of Child Neurology, Epilepsy, Neurophysiology and Critical Care Neurology, Children’s National and Professor of Neurology, George Washington University, and William H. Theodore, MD, Chief, Clinical Epilepsy Section, NINDS. Luca Bartolini, MD and new  Epilepsy Fellow, NINDS/NIH Luca Bartolini, MD …

Mystery particles: What is clinging to these HHV-6A virions?

Nobel prize winning virologist Harald zur Hausen sent our scientific director Dharam Ablashi the attached electron microscope image of HHV-6A (GS) virions that were propagated in an HSB2 cell line and would like help in identifying the multiple small particles attached to the viral envelope shown in the photograph below. Zur Hausen reports that the particles did not react to HHV-6 or any other monoclonal antibodies. The particles appear to have diameters of about 40 nm. Do you have any thoughts on what they might be? Yasuko Mori and Koichi Yamanishi published a paper in 2008 indicating that HHV-6 acquires its envelope via a multivesicular body or exosome pathway (Mori 2008). Could these small particles be exosomes? Another possibility suggested …

HHV-6 DR6/7 “oncogene” monoclonal antibodies for cancer studies

The HHV-6 Foundation has developed this mAb, with the help of Louis Flamand, PhD and it is now available at the Foundation Repository. This oncoprotein mAb has been tested by numerous scientists and appears to be better than antibodies against other proteins for detecting the presence of HHV-6 in tumors. It works for immunohistochemistry as well as western blots and detects both HHV-6A and HHV-6B. The DR-7 oncoprotein was used to identify HHV-6 in the  Reed-Sternberg cells of Hodgkin’s lymphoma tumors, primarily in the nodular sclerosis subset, by Lacroix et al in 2010. In 2012, Professor David Hudnall’s group at Yale confirmed that HHV-6B was localized in Reed-Sternberg cells in the nodular sclerosis subset of Hodgkin’s lymphomas (Siddon 2012). HHV-6 …

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HHV-6, EBV and CMV found in GI tract cancers

A group from Washington University used a bioinformatics system called VirusScan to analyze RNA-Seq data sets from 6,813 human tumors compared to those of adjacent normal tissue. Tumor samples representing 23 different forms of cancer were analyzed. HHV-6, EBV and CMV were found at significantly high levels in GI tract cancer tissue.

HHV-6A in the news!

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.

Best Practices: Pubmed Searches

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.