Archives of Virology

, Volume 159, Issue 5, pp 863–870 | Cite as

Classification of HHV-6A and HHV-6B as distinct viruses

  • Dharam AblashiEmail author
  • Henri Agut
  • Roberto Alvarez-Lafuente
  • Duncan A. Clark
  • Stephen Dewhurst
  • Dario DiLuca
  • Louis Flamand
  • Niza Frenkel
  • Robert Gallo
  • Ursula A. Gompels
  • Per Höllsberg
  • Steven Jacobson
  • Mario Luppi
  • Paolo Lusso
  • Mauro Malnati
  • Peter Medveczky
  • Yasuko Mori
  • Philip E. Pellett
  • Joshua C. Pritchett
  • Koichi Yamanishi
  • Tetsushi Yoshikawa
Brief Review


Shortly after the discovery of human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6), two distinct variants, HHV-6A and HHV-6B, were identified. In 2012, the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV) classified HHV-6A and HHV-6B as separate viruses. This review outlines several of the documented epidemiological, biological, and immunological distinctions between HHV-6A and HHV-6B, which support the ICTV classification. The utilization of virus-specific clinical and laboratory assays for distinguishing HHV-6A and HHV-6B is now required for further classification. For clarity in biological and clinical distinctions between HHV-6A and HHV-6B, scientists and physicians are herein urged, where possible, to differentiate carefully between HHV-6A and HHV-6B in all future publications.


Temporal Lobe Epilepsy Human Herpesvirus Mesial Temporal Lobe Epilepsy Distinct Virus Cellular Tropism 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We would like to thank Kristin Loomis, the President and Executive Director of the HHV-6 Foundation, for supporting and initiating the original document to ICTV, which led to the official recognition of Human herpesvirus 6A and Human herpesvirus 6B as two distinct human betaherpesviruses.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dharam Ablashi
    • 1
    Email author
  • Henri Agut
    • 2
  • Roberto Alvarez-Lafuente
    • 3
  • Duncan A. Clark
    • 4
  • Stephen Dewhurst
    • 5
  • Dario DiLuca
    • 6
  • Louis Flamand
    • 7
  • Niza Frenkel
    • 8
  • Robert Gallo
    • 9
  • Ursula A. Gompels
    • 10
  • Per Höllsberg
    • 11
  • Steven Jacobson
    • 12
  • Mario Luppi
    • 13
  • Paolo Lusso
    • 14
  • Mauro Malnati
    • 15
  • Peter Medveczky
    • 16
  • Yasuko Mori
    • 17
  • Philip E. Pellett
    • 18
  • Joshua C. Pritchett
    • 1
  • Koichi Yamanishi
    • 20
  • Tetsushi Yoshikawa
    • 19
  1. 1.HHV-6 FoundationSanta BarbaraUSA
  2. 2.Groupe Hospitalier Pitie-SalpetriereParisFrance
  3. 3.Hospital Clinico San CarlosMadridSpain
  4. 4.Barts Health NHS TrustLondonUK
  5. 5.University of Rochester Medical CenterRochesterUSA
  6. 6.University of FerraraFerraraItaly
  7. 7.Laval UniversityQuebec CityCanada
  8. 8.Institute for Molecular VirologyTel Aviv UniversityTel AvivIsrael
  9. 9.Institute of Human VirologyUniversity of Maryland School of MedicineBaltimoreUSA
  10. 10.London School of Hygiene and Tropical MedicineUniversity of LondonLondonUK
  11. 11.Aarhus UniversityAarhusDenmark
  12. 12.National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke/NIHBethesdaUSA
  13. 13.Department of Medical and Surgical SciencesUniversity of Modena and Reggio EmiliaModenaItaly
  14. 14.National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases/NIHBethesdaUSA
  15. 15.OSR Scientific InstituteMilanItaly
  16. 16.University of South FloridaTampaUSA
  17. 17.Kobe University Graduate School of MedicineOsakaJapan
  18. 18.Wayne State University School of MedicineDetroitUSA
  19. 19.Fujita Health University School of MedicineToyoakeJapan
  20. 20.The Research Foundation for Microbial Diseases of Osaka UniversityOsakaJapan

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