, Volume 100, Issue 3, pp 337-341

Human herpesvirus 6-meningoencephalitis in an HIV patient with progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy

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Human herpesvirus 6 (HHV6) has been reported as a rare cause of meningoencephalitis and leukoencephalitis. We present an HIV-infected patient with ¶lesions of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML), but also meningoencephalitis apparently due to HHV6. Immunohistochemistry for HHV6 antigens and in situ polymerase chain reaction for HHV6 genome showed many positive lymphocytes and microglia in the meningeal and cortical lesions. More importantly, dead and dying neurons were conspicuous; some were undergoing neuronophagia and some displayed evidence of HHV6 infection. A pathogenic role for this almost universal, and usually commensal, virus in inflammatory brain lesions and PML is briefly discussed.

Received: 21 September 1999 / Revised: 25 November 1999 / Accepted: 14 December 1999