• Welcome to Phoenix Rising!

    Created in 2008, Phoenix Rising is the largest and oldest forum dedicated to furthering the understanding of and finding treatments for complex chronic illnesses such as chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), fibromyalgia (FM), long COVID, postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), mast cell activation syndrome (MCAS), and allied diseases.

    To become a member, simply click the Register button at the top right.

HHV-6A Found in 22% of ME/CFS Patients' PBMCs, but in Only 4% of Healthy Controls'

Hip

Senior Member
Messages
17,809
In 2012, the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses classified HHV-6A and HHV-6B as separate viruses (prior to that they were considered subtypes of HHV-6). Ref: 1

However, even though HHV-6A is a distinct and separate virus, since nearly all HHV-6 tests cannot distinguish between HHV-6A and HHV-6B, and since HHV-6 is found in nearly everybody (so nearly all HHV-6 tests are going to come back positive for having the virus), by standard labs tests, it is hard to know whether you might have HHV-6A or not.

According to the HHV-6 Foundation, testing laboratories that can detect HHV-6A include:

• Viracor-IBT Laboratories — HHV-6 Quantitative Real-time PCR

• Focus Diagnostics

• Wisconsin Viral Research, who have now become Coppe Labs.



HHV-6A seems to be a significant virus for ME/CFS:

One study of 36 ME/CFS patients and 24 healthy controls found HHV-6A in the peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) of 22% of ME/CFS patients, but only in 4% of healthy controls.

This study of 13 ME/CFS patients and 13 healthy controls found HHV-6A in the PBMCs of 31% of patients, HHV-6B in the PBMCs of 23% of patients, and no HHV-6A nor HHV-6B found in the PBMCs of healthy controls.

However, although the above studies found little to no HHV-6A or HHV-6B in the PBMCs of healthy controls, somewhat confusingly, this study of healthy individuals found HHV-6A in 16% of subjects' PBMCs, and HHV-6B in 98% of subjects' PBMCs.



Some HHV-6A Info

HHV-6A is a more neurotropic virus than HHV-6B.

HHV-6A is acquired later in life, usually without clinical symptoms, except in Africa where HHV-6A is more prevalent than HHV-6B in children. Ref: 1

HHV-6A may act a cofactor with HIV in the progression to AIDS, since progression to full-blown AIDS is dramatically accelerated by HHV-6A. Ref: 1

HHV-6A is more prevalent in multiple sclerosis, an autoimmune disorder. Ref: 1

HHV-6A is associated with Hashimoto's thyroiditis, an autoimmune disorder. Ref: 1

It is only possible to differentiate HHV-6A from HHV-6B using a PCR DNA test. Ref: 1

HHV-6A may gain entry into the brain via the olfactory pathway. Ref: 1

HHV-6A has been found to persist in the spinal fluid long after it has disappeared from the plasma. Ref: 1

HHV-6A is more likely to be found in the spinal fluid or serum, whereas HHV-6B is more likely to be found in the white blood cells and in the saliva. Ref: 1

HHV-6A is not found in the saliva, ref: 1 2 (although this study says it is).
 
Last edited:

Hip

Senior Member
Messages
17,809
One additional point:

Almost all of us will have picked up HHV-6B by the age of 2. This means that HHV-6B is very unlikely to be a triggering virus for ME/CFS. This is because most people come down with ME/CFS later in life, in their teens, 20s, 30s and 40s typically, long after we have caught HHV-6B as an infant.

By contrast, HHV-6A when caught is picked up later in life. So this means that HHV-6A might be a candidate for a triggering virus of ME/CFS. By a triggering virus, we mean a virus that gives you an acute infection, soon after which you come down with ME/CFS.

Of course, even though HHV-6B is already in most of us by the age of 2, it could still play a causal role in the development of ME/CFS; however, because we already have in our body from the age of 2, HHV-6B cannot be a triggering virus of ME/CFS.



So this makes HHV-6A more interesting from the ME/CFS perspective: because it is found in much higher prevalence in the PBMCs of ME/CFS patients; and because as it is caught later in life, it might be triggering ME/CFS.
 

Thomas

Senior Member
Messages
325
Location
Canada
I know that Dr. Peterson is able to identify a subset of his ME patients (around 20%) who really just have a very active HHV6A infections. This group tends to have dramatic clinical improvements. However he checks blood, CSF, and tissue for confirmation.
 

Deltrus

Senior Member
Messages
271
I really wish we had better testing and drugs for this. I really want to try this avenue of attack for my moderate CFS. My dad had bell's palsy and I had very light bell's palsy symptoms. He's not my genetic dad but I was with him since I was a baby. I get hives with light exercise/heat. Might be HHV.

Will that super fast virus testing thing be helpful here? Anyone have any updates on that?

This one: http://www.cortjohnson.org/forums/t...-test-to-find-all-known-viruses-at-once.3060/