Human herpesvirus 6 var1iant B (HHV-6B) infection was studied in 23 adult patients who underwent cord blood transplantation (CBT). HHV-6B DNA was detected by quantitative polymerase chain reaction analysis after CBT in the sera from 15 patients (65%) at day 14 or 15 (week 2), from 16 patients (70%) at day 21 or 22 (week 3), and from 3 patients (13%) at day 28 or 29 (week 4). HHV-6B DNAemia was found in none of the 20 patients examined at day 7 or 8 (week 1). The overall incidence of HHV-6B DNAemia reached 87% (20 of 23 patients). This incidence was much higher than after unrelated bone marrow transplantation (19%, P < .0001). In CBT patients, positive HHV-6B DNAemia at week 3 was significantly associated with early skin rash (88% versus 14%, P < .005) and grade II–IV acute graft-versus-host disease (aGVHD) (69% versus 14%, P < .05). In contrast, positive HHV-6B DNAemia at week 2 was associated with neither skin rash nor aGVHD. Prospective large-scale studies are needed to determine the role of HHV-6 infection in CBT patients.
Human herpesvirus 6 Cord blood transplantation Graft-versus-host disease