A group from Germany has demonstrated that HHV-6 interferes with the development cycle of Chlamydia trachomatis and induces persistence during co-infection. They report that HHV-6 caused NADPH accumulation, decreased formation of glutathione, and increased oxidative stress, leading to chlamydial persistence.
This work may provide a window into further understanding the role played by HHV-6 in several clinical conditions associated with the glutathione/oxidative stress balance. Several studies, such as a recent study by Shungu et al, have shown that increased oxidative stress plays a key role in the development of CFS (Shungu 2012). Others have indicated that the depletion of glutathione, which helps counteract oxidative stress, may be a key cog in the mechanism that leads to conditions characterized by drug hypersensitivity such as DIHS/DRESS (Moling 2012). Increased oxidative stress due to decreased glutathione synthetase activity has also been observed in cases of encephalitis (Castegna 2011).
Interestingly, the group found that both HSV-1 and CMV similarly induced chlamydial persistence, suggesting the significance of a broad-acting mechanism of interaction between herpesviruses and Chlamydia species in the human host.
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