Donor-Derived CD4+ T Cells and Human Herpesvirus 6B Detection After Allogeneic Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation

J Infect Dis. 2021 Feb 24;223(4):709-713. doi: 10.1093/infdis/jiaa422.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Female
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation*
  • Herpesvirus 6, Human / genetics
  • Herpesvirus 6, Human / immunology
  • Herpesvirus 6, Human / isolation & purification*
  • Humans
  • Lymphocyte Count
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Tissue Donors
  • Viral Load