Human Herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) has long been suspected as one trigger for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) is a set of two closely related herpesviruses, HHV6-A and HHV6-B. Infection is extremely common and usually occurs at an early age. 64-83% of infants are infected by age 13 months. HHV-6 has an affinity for leukocytes and nervous tissue, especially the olfactory bulb tissues, from which it is thought to disseminate to other parts of the brain. After infection the virus remains latent but can reactivate asymptomatically even in healthy individuals.
HHV-6 has been found to activate Epstein-Barr virus from latency. Conversely, the presence of EBV renders B cells more susceptible to HHV-6 infection.
- Human herpesvirus 6 and chronic fatigue syndrome (link)
- Human herpesvirus 6. (link)
- Human herpesvirus-6 entry into the central nervous system through the olfactory pathway. (link)
- Update on Human Herpesvirus 6 Biology, Clinical Features, and Therapy (link)
In adults, HHV-6 has been associated with chronic fatigue and spontaneously resolving fever resembling a mononucleosis-like illness. During the acute episode an elevated IgM HHV-6 is useful. An increase in IgG HHV-6 between acute and convalescent serum sample is consistent with a recent HHV-6 infection.
IgG antibodies typically develop a few weeks after infection and may persist indefinitely.
This test looks for antibodies to Human Herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) in the blood. HHV-6 is a member of the Herpes family of viruses. Information on how HHV-6 is spread is limited but research has found that the majority of people are infected when they are very young. The most common form of transmission is through saliva but it can be transmitted through sexual contact as well. Once a person is infected, the virus remains in their system for the rest of their life. The virus will typically remain latent but can reactivate later in life and may be related to a variety of health issues, especially in people whose immune systems are compromised.
HHV-6 does not usually cause any symptoms but initial infection in children may cause fever, diarrhea or rash. Adults with a reactivated infection may experience fever or illness similar to mononucleosis (mono). HHV-6 has been linked to a number of conditions including Multiples Sclerosis, Viral Hepatitis, Epilepsy, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Encephalitis and Lung disease.
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