Measurement of human herpesvirus 7 load in peripheral blood and saliva of healthy subjects by quantitative polymerase chain reaction

J Infect Dis. 1996 Aug;174(2):396-401. doi: 10.1093/infdis/174.2.396.


Qualitative and competitive-quantitative nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays were developed for human herpesvirus 7 (HHV-7). These assays amplify a DNA sequence encoding part of the HHV-7 homologue of the human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) U42 gene. The PCR assays were used to analyze peripheral blood DNA (pbDNA) and saliva from 24 healthy volunteers. The prevalence of HHV-7 in saliva was 96%, with a median virus load of 1.1 x 10(6) copies/mL. Longitudinal analysis revealed sustained virus load, suggesting continued active viral replication. Analysis of 1 microgram of pbDNA showed the prevalence of HHV-7 to be 83%, with a median virus load of 40 copies (267 copies/10(6) cells). Analysis of sequential pbDNA samples showed individuals to have stable levels of HHV-7 virus load. These data demonstrate persistence of HHV-7 at two distinct sites and provide baseline data allowing comparisons with HHV-7 load in immunocompromised patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • DNA Primers
  • Genes, Viral
  • Herpesviridae Infections / blood
  • Herpesviridae Infections / virology*
  • Herpesvirus 6, Human / genetics
  • Herpesvirus 7, Human / genetics
  • Herpesvirus 7, Human / isolation & purification*
  • Humans
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods*
  • Regulatory Sequences, Nucleic Acid
  • Saliva / virology*
  • Time Factors
  • Viral Proteins / genetics


  • DNA Primers
  • Viral Proteins