Diagnostic assays for active infection with human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6)

Mary T. Caserta, Caroline Breese Hall, Kenneth Schnabel, Geraldine Lofthus, Andrea Marino, Lynne Shelley, Christina Yoo, Jennifer Carnahan, Linda Anderson, Hongyue Wang
2010 Journal of Clinical Virology  
Background-Human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) causes ubiquitous infection in early childhood with lifelong latency or persistence. Reactivation of HHV-6 has been associated with multiple diseases including encephalitis. Chromosomal integration of HHV-6 also occurs. Previous studies have suggested that the detection of HHV-6 DNA in plasma is an accurate marker of active viral replication. Objective-We sought to determine whether PCR assays on plasma could correctly differentiate between primary HHV-6
more » ... fection, chromosomal integration of HHV-6 and latent HHV-6 infection. Study Design-We performed qualitative PCR, real-time quantitative PCR (RQ-PCR), and reverse-transcriptase PCR (RT-PCR) assays on samples of peripheral and cord blood mononuclear cells, as well as plasma, from groups of subjects with well defined HHV-6 infection, including subjects with chromosomally integrated HHV-6. Results and Conclusions-The detection of HHV-6 DNA in plasma was 92% sensitive compared to viral isolation for the identification of primary infection with HHV-6. All plasma samples from infants with chromosomally integrated HHV-6 had HHV-6 DNA detectable in plasma while only 5.6% were positive by RT-PCR. The specificity of plasma PCR for active replication of HHV-6 was 84% compared to viral culture while the specificity of RT-PCR was 98%. Our results demonstrate that qualitative or quantitative PCR of plasma is insufficient to distinguish between active viral replication and chromosomal integration with HHV-6. We found
doi:10.1016/j.jcv.2010.02.007 pmid:20211581 pmcid:PMC2855742 fatcat:uhybyftbo5eyrdlc6rl5nsf4ru