Frequent Isolation of HHV-6 From Saliva and High Seroprevalence of the Virus in the Population

Lancet. 1990 May 5;335(8697):1047-50. doi: 10.1016/0140-6736(90)92628-u.

Abstract

Human herpesvirus-6 (HHV-6) was recovered at high frequency (greater than 85%) from the saliva of both healthy individuals and those infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). The level of isolation mirrored the high prevalence of antibodies to HHV-6 found in sera obtained from residents of diverse areas of the world. Seroconversion occurred between 1 and 3 years of age; seroprevalence ranged between 80% and 100% among adults under 40 and decreased to 35% between ages 62 and 88. Serum titres in healthy individuals remained stable during periods of virus shedding. Immune cellular dysfunction in patients was associated with high geometric mean HHV-6 antibody titres. These observations suggest that HHV-6 infection takes place within the first 3 years of life, and strongly implicate oral shedding as a common means of transmission of this newly described herpesvirus.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / microbiology*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antibodies, Anti-Idiotypic / analysis
  • Antibodies, Viral / analysis
  • Antigens, Viral / analysis
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Herpesviridae Infections / epidemiology*
  • Herpesviridae Infections / ethnology
  • Herpesviridae Infections / microbiology
  • Herpesviridae Infections / transmission
  • Herpesvirus 6, Human / immunology
  • Herpesvirus 6, Human / isolation & purification*
  • Homosexuality*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear / microbiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Saliva / microbiology*
  • San Francisco / epidemiology
  • Virus Replication / physiology

Substances

  • Antibodies, Anti-Idiotypic
  • Antibodies, Viral
  • Antigens, Viral