Pathogenicity of Human Herpesvirus-6

  • Abdur Razzaque
  • Koichi Yamanishi
  • Donald R. Carrigan
Part of the Frontiers of Virology book series (FRVIROLOGY, volume 3)


Human herpesvirus-6 (HHV-6) is a recently discovered lymphotropic virus. Serologic evidence indicates a high incidence of HHV-6 antibody in almost all areas of the world, and most children are infected by 2 years of age. HHV-6 can productively infect CD4+ lymphocytes, but CD4 does not appear to be used by the virus as its primary receptor. The virus can also infect monocytes, macro-phages, epithelial cells, and cells of other lineages. Virus transmission probably occurs horizontally, as the virus is secreted in the saliva of healthy individuals, and is unlikely to be transmitted through the placenta. HHV-6 has been identified as the etiologic agent of exanthem subitum. It can cause interstitial pneumonitis in bone marrow transplant patients, in whom it is associated with suppression of bone marrow function. HHV-6 can also cause infectious mononucleosis, lymphadenitis, liver dysfunction, and is associated with various lymphoprolifera-tive disorders and the chronic fatigue syndrome. It has been proposed that the virus plays a role in the pathogenesis of AIDS. HHV-6 is suggested to be an oncogenic virus because of its lymphoproliferative linkage and because HHV-6 DNA can transform murine fibroblast and human epidermal keratinocyte cell lines. These transformed cells are tumorigenic in nude mice. Primary HHV-6 infection may establish latent infection in monocytes or macrophages, and the virus can be reactivated from a latent state in immunocompromised patients and in individuals with various malignant and nonmalignant diseases.


Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Infectious Mononucleosis Interstitial Pneumonitis Salivary Gland Epithelial Cell Human Herpesvirus Type 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Abdur Razzaque
    • 1
  • Koichi Yamanishi
    • 2
  • Donald R. Carrigan
    • 3
  1. 1.Division of Viral ProductsCBER, FDABethesdaUSA
  2. 2.Department of Virology, Research Institute for Microbial DiseasesOsaka UniversityOsakaJapan
  3. 3.Department of Pathology and the Bone Marrow Transplant ProgramMedical College of WisconsinMilwaukeeUSA

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