Identification of human herpesvirus-6 as a causal agent for exanthem subitum

Lancet. 1988 May 14;1(8594):1065-7. doi: 10.1016/s0140-6736(88)91893-4.


A virus was isolated from the peripheral blood lymphocytes of patients with exanthem subitum, cultured successfully in cord blood lymphocytes, and shown to be antigenically related to human herpesvirus-6 (HHV-6). Morphological features, as studied by thin-section electronmicroscopy, resembled those of herpes group viruses. Convalescent-phase serum samples, tested against the new viral antigen and HHV-6 antigen, showed seroconversion. The results strongly suggest that the newly isolated virus is identical or closely related to HHV-6 and the causal agent for exanthem subitum.

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Antibodies, Viral / analysis
  • Child
  • Exanthema Subitum / etiology
  • Exanthema Subitum / immunology
  • Exanthema Subitum / microbiology*
  • Herpesviridae / classification
  • Herpesviridae / isolation & purification*
  • Herpesviridae / ultrastructure
  • Herpesviridae Infections*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning


  • Antibodies, Viral