Human herpes virus 6 infection in children in Northern Greece

Abstract number: 1733_1051

Sidira P., Mitka S., Karabaxoglou D., Politi K., Kansouzidou A., Papa A.

Objective: Human Herpes virus 6 (HHV-6) is a human pathogen of emerging clinical significance. Two genetically distinct variants of the virus exist, HHV-6A and HHV-6B. HHV-6 has been identified as a causative agent of exanthem subitum. HHV-6 infection is common in the first 3 years of life and the disease has a variety of clinical presentations. The aim of this study was the estimation of the incidence of the HHV-6 infection in children in northern Greece and the evaluation of the contribution of PCR in the early and specific diagnosis of the disease.

Materials and Methods: A total of 27 patients (children aged under 3 years) with signs and symptoms suggestive of exanthem subitum were studied. A total of 39 serum specimens from the patients were examined for the detection of specific IgM and IgG antibodies against HHV-6 by ELISA and 27 blood specimens were tested for the HHV-6 DNA by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). In the PCR, a fragment of U67 gene (homology 96.5% between HHV-6A and HHV-6B) was used as DNA target (fragment 223 bp). HHV-6A U1102 strain was used as a positive-control.

Results: In total, HHV-6 primary infection was diagnosed in 10 patients out of 27 patients examined, who presented seroconvertion and/or had HHV-6 DNA detectable in the acute blood specimen. Past HHV-6 infection was diagnosed in 6 patients who had IgG antibodies against HHV-6 in the acute serum, while PCR was negative in the acute blood specimen. Absence of HHV-6 infection was diagnosed in 11 patients who presented negative results in HHV-6 PCR and IgG serology.

Conclusions: HHV-6 primary infection is a significant causative agent of illness in children aged under 3 years presenting with fever and exanthem. PCR assay contributes significantly in the early diagnosis of HHV-6 primary infection, as serology alone proved to have many limitations.

Session Details

Date: 31/03/2007
Time: 00:00-00:00
Session name: European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
Location: ICC, Munich, Germany
Presentation type:
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