Fulminant human herpesvirus six encephalitis in a human immunodeficiency virus-infected infant

J Med Virol. 1995 Mar;45(3):288-92. doi: 10.1002/jmv.1890450309.


Self-limited involvement of the central nervous system (CNS) is a relatively common complication of primary infection with human herpesvirus six (HHV-6) in normal children. We describe an HIV-infected infant who developed fulminant encephalitis as a complication of HHV-6 infection. Immunohistochemical staining of CNS tissue demonstrated productive infection of all CNS cell-types. Analysis of the infected brain tissue by the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) confirmed the presence of a dense HHV-6 infection in the tissue, and demonstrated that the virus present in the CNS tissue was predominantly the A variant of HHV-6. This is the first demonstration of invasive tissue disease caused by HHV-6 in an HIV-infected infant.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • AIDS-Related Opportunistic Infections / complications*
  • AIDS-Related Opportunistic Infections / pathology
  • AIDS-Related Opportunistic Infections / virology
  • Base Sequence
  • Brain / pathology
  • Brain / virology
  • DNA Primers / genetics
  • DNA, Viral / genetics
  • Encephalitis, Viral / complications*
  • Encephalitis, Viral / pathology
  • Encephalitis, Viral / virology
  • Female
  • HIV-1*
  • Herpesviridae Infections / complications*
  • Herpesviridae Infections / pathology
  • Herpesviridae Infections / virology
  • Herpesvirus 6, Human* / genetics
  • Herpesvirus 6, Human* / immunology
  • Herpesvirus 6, Human* / pathogenicity
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Infant
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction


  • DNA Primers
  • DNA, Viral