Genomic Heterogeneity of Human Herpesvirus 6 Isolates
Human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) is the causative agent of the mild childhood disease exanthem subitum (1). Its role in adult disease and in more severe disease of children has not been defined, although preliminary studies have found evidence for changes in HHV-6 serologic status in association with episodes of mild, afebrile illness presenting with symmetrical lymphadenopathy (2). Viral DNA sequences have been found in B-cell lymphoma tissue (3) and cervical lymph nodes of normal individuals (4). HHV-6 has been isolated from people of several continents (1, 5–10). Seroprevalence studies indicate that most individuals have been infected (11–15) and that initial exposure to the virus occurs early in life (1, 11, 13, 14). The route or routes of infection have not been defined. Acquisition via breast milk has not been ruled out, but it is clear that another route of transmission must exist (16). The question of whether an individual can be infected by multiple strains of the virus has not been studied.
KeywordsBamHI Fragment Japanese Isolate Genomic Heterogeneity Invertible Segment Genomic Terminus
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