We sought to determine whether donor-derived human herpesvirus (HHV) 6B-specific CD4+ T-cell abundance is correlated with HHV-6B detection after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation. We identified 33 patients who received HLA-matched, non-T-cell-depleted, myeloablative allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation and underwent weekly plasma polymerase chain reaction testing for HHV-6B for 100 days thereafter. We tested donor peripheral blood mononuclear cells for HHV-6B-specific CD4+ T cells. Patients with HHV-6B detection above the median peak viral load (200 copies/mL) received approximately 10-fold fewer donor-derived total or HHV-6B-specific CD4+ T cells than those with peak HHV-6B detection at ≤200 copies/mL or with no HHV-6B detection. These data suggest the importance of donor-derived immunity for controlling HHV-6B reactivation.
Keywords: CD4+ T cell; HHV-6; hematopoietic cell transplant; human herpesvirus 6.
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