Human Herpesvirus-6 (HHV-6)

Chromosomal Integration

Most people acquire HHV-6 early in life where it usually remains in a latent state for the lifetime of the host. However, viral reactivation can occur at any time and cause serious complications in cases of transplantation and immune suppression.

Chromosomal Integration of HHV-6 (ciHHV-6) occurs in 0.5-2% of the population. The presence of the viral genome integrated into all body cells can confound diagnostic interpretation of HHV-6 DNA present in the blood, leading to a misdiagnosis of HHV-6 reactivation and unnecessary anti-viral treatment.

Chromosomally Integrated HHV-6 (ciHHV-6)

Analysis for chromosomal integration (ciHHV-6) is necessary to distinguish between ciHHV-6 and HHV-6 reactivation. When measuring DNA in the blood, levels of viral DNA are much higher with chromosomal integration.

Chromosomal integration is determined through qualitative DNA PCR testing on hair follicles or nail clippings. Test results are reported as “detected” or “not detected.

HHV-6 PCR DNA – Quantitative Analysis

Quantitative HHV-6 testing through blood, plasma, and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is also available as a tool to assist physicians in determining HHV-6 reactivation.

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HHV-6 Immunohistochemistry

Immunohistochemical staining of tissues (IHC) is a useful tool to determine active HHV-6 infection and the need for antiviral therapy. Read more information on how IHC can be utilized in Transplant and Infertility:

IHC in Transplant

IHC in Infertility