Frequent Shedding of Human Herpesvirus 6 in Saliva

J Med Virol. 1990 Feb;30(2):128-30. doi: 10.1002/jmv.1890300209.


We have previously reported the isolation of HHV-6 from saliva samples. Because these isolations were made in PHA-stimulated lymphocytes from healthy adults, which may occasionally contain endogenous HHV-6, it was desirable to repeat this work using cord blood lymphocytes. In this study 18 isolations of viruses provisionally characterized as HHV-6 were made from 19 saliva samples by centrifugally enhanced inoculation into PHA-stimulated cord blood lymphocytes. HHV-6 was not found in 10 pernasal aspirates, 50 endocervical swabs, or 30 male urethral swabs. It is concluded that HHV-6 is usually present in the saliva of most adults and that this affords a possible explanation of the high infection rate with this virus in young children.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Fetal Blood / cytology
  • Herpesvirus 6, Human / isolation & purification*
  • Humans
  • Lymphocytes
  • Saliva / microbiology*
  • Virus Cultivation / methods