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Human herpesvirus 6 and 7 

Human herpesvirus 6 and 7
Chapter:
Human herpesvirus 6 and 7
DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198729228.003.0107
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date: 18 November 2019

Human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) and 7 (HHV-7) constitute the roseolavirus group of β‎-herpesviruses. HHV-6 has two subtypes HHV-6A and HHV-6B. Both HHV-6 and HHV-7 tend to produce mild self-limiting illness in immunocompetent children that typically develops in late infancy and early childhood. HHV-6, in particular, is associated with a viral exanthem known as ‘sixth disease’ or roseola infantum (exanthema subitum), from which the roseolavirus group derives its name. HHV-6 is also the commonest single viral aetiology underlying febrile seizures in early childhood and has been associated with encephalitis of varying severity in immunocompetent children. Recent evidence links HHV-6 with the subsequent evolution of mesial temporal epilepsy. There is emerging evidence that HHV-6 can lead to complications in post-transplant patients, most notably post-transplant-associated limbic encephalitis. It may also contribute to, or serve as a marker for, an increased risk of graft-versus-host-disease and cytomegalovirus reactivation. Ganciclovir, foscarnet, and cidofovir have in vitro activity against HHV-6 and have been used to treat infections in severe illness and infection in immunocompromised patients.

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