Human Herpesvirus-6, -7, and -8 After Solid Organ Transplantation

  • Nina Singh


HHV-6 is a beta herpes virus that establishes latency after primary infection with most infections occurring in the childhood. Active HHV-6 infection occurs in 20–50 % of transplant recipients and is largely due to endogenous reactivation of the latent virus. Infection typically develops in the early posttransplant period. The most frequently observed clinical features of HHV-6 are febrile dermatosis and bone marrow suppression and less commonly encephalitis, interstitial pneumonitis, and hepatitis. HHV-6 also has immunomodulatory effects that may facilitate superinfections with other opportunistic infections, particularly CMV and fungal infections. Treatment of HHV-6 remains challenging. Based on in vitro and anecdotal data, ganciclovir, foscarnet, and cidofovir have been used clinically. The role of HHV-7 as a pathogen in transplant recipients is not fully defined. KSHV is the etiologic agent of Kaposi’s sarcoma (KS). The incidence of posttransplant KS varies widely and largely parallels the geographic seroprevalence of KSHV. Cutaneous lesions are most common; however, up to 40 % of transplant recipients may develop visceral disease. Reduction or withdrawal of immunosuppression remains the mainstay of the management of KS in transplant recipients.


Human herpesvirus-6 Human herpesvirus-7 Human herpesvirus-8 Kaposi’s sarcoma herpesvirus Encephalitis Transplant Bone marrow suppression 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious DiseasesUniversity of PittsburghPittsburghUSA

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