Neuroinvasion and persistence of human herpesvirus 6 inchildren

Mary T. Caserta*, Caroline Breese Hall, Kenneth Schnabel, Kim Mc Intyre, Christine Long, Maria Costanzo, Stephen Dewhurst, Richard Insel, Leon G. Epstein

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

209 Scopus citations


Human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) causes a febrile illness in children and has been implicated as a cause of encephalitis and recurrent seizures. Paired samples of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) from 487 children were evaluated by nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for evidence of current or past infection with HHV-6. PBMC were also cultured for isolation of HHV-6. These data were correlated with the patients’ clinical information. HHV-6 DNA was detected in 72 (14.8%) of 487 CSF samples. HHV-6 persistence was documented in 142 children by PCR detectionofHHV-6 DNA in PBMC or CSF (or both) in the absence of primary HHV-6 infection; the central nervous system was the only site of HHV-6 DNA persistence in 28.9%. HHV-6 DNA can be detected inthe CSF of children during and after primary infection, and the central nervous system may be the sole site of persistence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1586-1589
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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