Chromosomally integrated HHV-6: impact on virus, cell and organismal biology

Curr Opin Virol. 2014 Dec;9:111-8. doi: 10.1016/j.coviro.2014.09.010. Epub 2014 Oct 29.


HHV-6 integrates its genome into telomeres of human chromosomes. Integration can occur in somatic cells or gametes, the latter leading to individuals harboring the HHV-6 genome in every cell. This condition is transmitted to descendants and referred to as inherited chromosomally integrated human herpesvirus 6 (iciHHV-6). Although integration can occur in different chromosomes, it invariably takes place in the telomere region. This integration mechanism represents a way to maintain the virus genome during latency, which is so far unique amongst human herpesviruses. Recent work provides evidence that the integrated HHV-6 genome can be mobilized from the host chromosome, resulting in the onset of disease. Details on required structural determinants, putative integration mechanisms and biological and medical consequences of iciHHV-6 are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cell Physiological Phenomena*
  • Herpesvirus 6, Human / physiology*
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions
  • Humans
  • Roseolovirus Infections / virology*
  • Telomere / virology
  • Virus Activation
  • Virus Integration*
  • Virus Latency*