Hot Topics in Infection and Immunity in Children VII

Volume 697 of the series Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology pp 87-90


Human Herpesvirus 6

  • Charles G. ProberAffiliated withPediatrics, Microbiology and Immunology, Medical Education, Stanford School of Medicine, Stanford University Medical Center Email author 

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Human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) is a member of the family Herpesviridae. This family of eight viruses includes four Alphaherpesvirinae (herpes simplex virus type 1 [HSV-1], herpes simplex virus type 2 [HSV-2], human herpesvirus 8 [HHV-8], and varicella-zoster virus [VZV]); one Gammaherpesvirinae (Epstein–Barr virus [EBV]); and three Betaherpesvirinae (cytomegalovirus [CMV], HHV-6, and human herpesvirus 7 [HHV-7]) [1]. Common physical traits of these clinically important DNA viruses include large size (150–200 nm), an icosahedral nucleocapsid encased in an envelope that has multiple surface projections, and a large number of structural proteins. Their genomes are linear and double-stranded, varying in size from 120 to 230 kb and specifying a large number of enzymes involved in nucleic acid metabolism. The intranuclear replication of herpesviruses is complex and destruction of the infected cells accompanies the production of progeny.