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Open Access Research

Dominance of variant A in Human Herpesvirus 6 viraemia after renal transplantation

Eszter Csoma1*, Beáta Mészáros1, Tamás Gáll1, László Asztalos2, József Kónya1 and Lajos Gergely1

Author Affiliations

1 Institute of Medical Microbiology, University of Debrecen, Nagyerdei krt. 98., Debrecen, Hungary

2 Institute of Surgery, University of Debrecen, Nagyerdei krt. 98., Debrecen, Hungary

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Virology Journal 2011, 8:403  doi:10.1186/1743-422X-8-403

Published: 15 August 2011

Abstract

Background

Human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6), mostly variant B reactivation in renal transplant patients has been published by other authors, but the pathogenetic role of HHV-6 variant A has not been clarified. Our aims were to examine the prevalence of HHV-6, to determine the variants, and to investigate the interaction between HHV-6 viraemia, human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) infection and clinical symptoms.

Methods

Variant-specific HHV-6 nested PCR and quantitative real-time PCR were used to examine blood samples from renal transplant patients and healthy blood donors for the presence and load of HHV-6 DNA and to determine the variants. Active HHV-6 infection was proved by RT-PCR, and active HCMV infection was diagnosed by pp65 antigenaemia test.

Results

HHV-6 viraemia was significantly more frequent in renal transplant patients compared to healthy blood donors (9/200 vs. 0/200; p = 0.004), while prevalence of HHV-6 latency was not significantly different (13/200 vs. 19/200; p > 0.05). Dominance of variant A was revealed in viraemias (8/9), and the frequency of HHV-6A was significantly higher in active infections compared with latency in renal transplant patients (8/9 vs. 2/13; p = 0.0015). Latency was established predominantly by HHV-6B both in renal transplant patients and in healthy blood donors (11/13 and 18/19). There was no statistical significant difference in occurrence of HCMV and HHV-6 viraemia in renal transplant patients (7/200 vs. 9/200). Statistical analysis did not reveal interaction between HHV-6 viraemia and clinical symptoms in our study.

Conclusions

Contrary to previous publications HHV-6A viraemia was found to be predominant in renal transplant patients. Frequency of variant A was significantly higher in cases of active infection then in latency.

Keywords:
HHV-6; variant A; renal transplantation