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Co-infection of HHV-6 and HHV-7 in patients with myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome

Discussion in 'Latest ME/CFS Research' started by Gijs, Apr 19, 2013.

  1. Gijs

    Gijs Senior Member

    8th International Conference on HHV-6 & 7 April 8-10, 2013 in Paris, France, hosted by HHV-6 Foundation. Poster 12-4. Santa Rasa, Svetlana Chapenko, Zaiga Nora-Krukle, Angelika Krumina, Ludmila Viksna, Modra Murovska.

    Objective: HHV-6 and HHV-7 infection has been considered as a possible trigger factor in myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS). The objective of this work was to study the association of HHV-6 and HHV-7 co-infection with ME/CFS.

    Methods: 165 patients (57 male and 109 female, mean age 38 years) with ME/CFS and 150 apparently healthy age and gender matched individuals were enrolled in this study. Nested polymerase chain reaction (nPCR) was used to detect genomic sequences of HHV-6 and HHV-7. Latent infection was defined as the detection of HHV-6 or HHV-7 DNA in the peripheral blood leukocytes (PBL) but not in the cell free blood plasma. Active infection was defined asthe detection of DNA in both the PBL and the plasma.

    Results: Persistent HHV-6 and/or HHV-7 infection in latent phase was detected in 77/165 (46.7%) and 88/150 (58.7%) (p=0.0419); whereas in active phase detection was in 77/165 (46.7%) and 12/150 (8%) patients with ME/CFS and apparently healthy individuals, respectively (p<0.0001). Persistent HHV-6 and HHV-7 co-infection was found in 78/165 (47.3%) cases of ME/CFS and 23/150 (15.3%) of apparently healthy individuals (p<0.0001).Persistent co-infection in active phase was found in none of the apparently healthy individuals, whereas in 78 patients with persistent co-infection, activation of single HHV-7 (23; 29.5%) was observed more frequently (p<0.0001) than single HHV-6 activation (5; 6.4%). Simultaneous activation of both HHV-6 and HHV-7 was detected in 17 (21.8%) patients with ME/CFS, howing that activation of HHV-6 occurs more frequently in the presence of active HHV-7 (p=0.0062).

    Conclusions: Persistent HHV-6 and HHV-7 co-infection in active phase could be used as one of the biomarkers for ME/CFS. According to previous in vitro studies, infection with HHV-7 results in activation of HHV-6, therefore in case of HHV-6 and HHV-7 co-infection, HHV-7 infection in active phase could be responsible for HHV-6 activation leading to active co-infection.
  2. Enid

    Enid Senior Member

    Sadly - it's good to see these findings. Thanks Gijs.
    snowathlete likes this.
  3. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

    Thanks for posting this, Gijs - I have elevated HHV-6 antibody titres so I'm interested in this.

    Does anyone know if this is the first study of comparative prevalence of HHV-6 and/or HHV-7 in ME/CFS?
  4. snowathlete


    There are others, I think. I'm waiting for my test results for 6 and 7, wonder what it will show.

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