An international group of HHV-6 experts, investigators and clinicians have published a comprehensive review of chromosomally integrated HHV-6 (ciHHV-6). The article, entitled “Chromosomally Integrated human herpesvirus-6: questions and answers,” is written in response to the widespread confusion in the medical community on how to test or diagnose the condition, as well as how to treat a patient with ciHHV-6 who may or may not have symptoms consistent with HHV-6 reactivation.
Written in a question/answer format, the group hopes that this article will help spread the word about ciHHV-6, a condition that affects nearly 1% of the worldwide population. The group advises physicians to use whole blood PCR tests to identify these patients and not to rely on serum or plasma tests to diagnose the condition. They suggest that any patient with greater than 500,000 DNA copies per ml in whole blood probably has HHV-6. Rarely, a patient with graft versus host disease or drug induced hypersensitivity syndrome will have a viral load above 500,000 copies, but this is transient and the viral load diminishes quickly. In an individual with ciHHV-6, the viral load will consistently be over 500,000 copies per ml in whole blood.
If you’d like to learn more about chromosomally integrated HHV-6, please visit our web page on ciHHV-6, or download the article at the link above.