Human herpesvirus 6 in the newborn intensive care unit
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Human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) is a ubiquitous DNA virus that causes roseola and may cause life-threatening illness in immune compromised hosts. Peak acquisition of the virus occurs between 6 and 9 months of age, but earlier acquisition has been reported . Congenital infection has been postulated, but the clinical significance is unclear [2, 3, 4, 5]. Chromosomal integration and subsequent detection of HHV-6 DNA has recently been demonstrated, contributing to the confounding effect of detecting the virus in neonates and defining congenitally acquired infection . We hypothesize that congenital HHV-6 may occur and cause “sepsis-like” episodes in infants cared for in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).
A pilot cross-sectional study was performed to obtain an estimate of HHV-6 DNA prevalence in the NICU. All infants hospitalized in the Primary Children’s Medical Center (PCMC) NICU between December 2002 and November 2003 were eligible for inclusion. Investigators collected samples...
KeywordsNeonatal Intensive Care Unit Congenital Infection Chromosomal Integration Cytel Jejunal Atresia
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