Human herpesviruses in chronic fatigue syndrome.
We have conducted a double-blind study to assess the possible involvement of the human herpesviruses (HHVs) HHV6, HHV7, Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), and cytomegalovirus in chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) patients compared to age-, race-, and gender-matched controls. The CFS patient population was composed of rigorously screened civilian and Persian Gulf War veterans meeting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's CFS case definition criteria. Healthy control civilian and veteran populations had no evidence of CFS or any other exclusionary medical or psychiatric condition. Patient peripheral blood mononuclear cells were analyzed by PCR for the presence of these HHVs. Using two-tailed Fisher's exact test analyses, we were unable to ascertain any statistically significant differences between the CFS patient and control populations in terms of the detection of one or more of these viruses. This observation was upheld when the CFS populations were further stratified with regard to the presence or absence of major axis I psychopathology and patient self-reported gradual versus acute onset of disease. In tandem, we performed serological analyses of serum anti-EBV and anti-HHV6 antibody titers and found no significant differences between the CFS and control patients. (+info)
High seroprevalence of antibodies to human herpesvirus-8 in Egyptian children: evidence of nonsexual transmission.
BACKGROUND: In western countries, human herpesvirus-8 (HHV-8) appears to be transmitted mainly by sexual contact. To evaluate the role of other transmission routes, especially in developing countries, we estimated the seroprevalence of HHV-8 in Egyptian children, who, if seropositive, would have acquired the virus through a nonsexual route. METHODS: Sera from 196 children (<1-12 years of age), 20 adolescents (13-20 years of age), and 30 young adults (21-25 years of age) attending a vaccination program in Alexandria, Egypt, were studied. Immunofluorescence assays were used to detect antibodies against HHV-8 lytic-phase antigens (anti-lytic) and latent-phase antigens (anti-latent). Antibodies against Epstein-Barr virus viral cap antigen, cytomegalovirus, and HHV-6 were detected by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays. Seroprevalence of these herpesviruses was calculated after stratifying the subjects by age. RESULTS: Anti-lytic and anti-latent HHV-8 antibodies were detected in 44.7% and 8.5% of the study participants, respectively. The prevalence of anti-lytic antibodies tended to increase with age, exceeding 50% in children older than 6 years; once children reached the age of 10 years, the prevalence tended to stabilize. The seroprevalence of other herpesviruses tended to be higher than that of HHV-8, ranging from approximately 83% to more than 97% in the 9- to 12-year age group. One- to 3-year-old children had higher titers of antilytic HHV-8 antibodies than children in the other age groups. Anti-latent antibodies were more frequently detected in individuals with high anti-lytic antibody titers. CONCLUSIONS: HHV-8 antibodies are highly prevalent in Egyptian children, suggesting that, in developing countries, HHV-8 infection may be acquired early in life through routes other than sexual transmission. The lower seroprevalence of HHV-8 relative to that of the other herpesviruses suggests that HHV-8 is less transmissible than other common herpesviruses. (+info)
The U69 gene of human herpesvirus 6 encodes a protein kinase which can confer ganciclovir sensitivity to baculoviruses.
The protein encoded by the U69 open reading frame (ORF) of human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) has been predicted to be a protein kinase. To investigate its functional properties, we have expressed the U69 ORFs from both HHV-6 variants, A and B, by using recombinant baculoviruses (BV6AU69 and BV6BU69). Nickel agarose and antibody affinity chromatography was used to purify the proteins to homogeneity and when incubated with [gamma-32P]ATP, both U69 proteins became phosphorylated on predominantly serine residues. These data strongly suggest that U69 is a protein kinase which autophosphorylates. The phosphorylation reaction was optimal at physiological pH and low NaCl concentrations. It required the presence of Mg2+ or Mn2+, and Mg2+ was able to support phosphorylation over a wider range of concentrations than Mn2+. Both ATP and GTP could donate phosphate in the protein kinase assay and the former was more efficient. U69 was capable of phosphorylating histone and casein (serine/threonine kinase substrates) but not enolase (a tyrosine kinase substrate). For the autophosphorylation reaction, the Michaelis constants for ATP of baculovirus-expressed HHV-6A and HHV-6B U69 were calculated to be 44 and 11 microM, respectively. U69 is a homologue of the UL97 gene encoded by human cytomegalovirus which has been shown to phosphorylate the antiviral drug ganciclovir (GCV). We analyzed whether the U69 ORF alone was capable of conferring GCV sensitivity on baculoviruses BV6AU69 and BV6BU69. In plaque reduction experiments, these baculoviruses displayed a GCV-sensitive phenotype compared to a control baculovirus (BVLacZ). The 50% inhibitory concentrations (IC50) of BV6AU69 and BV6BU69 were calculated to be 0.35 and 0.26 mM, respectively, whereas the control baculovirus had an IC50 of >1.4 mM. This shows that the U69 gene product is the only one required to confer GCV sensitivity on baculovirus. (+info)
Amplification of the six major human herpesviruses from cerebrospinal fluid by a single PCR.
We used a novel type of primer system, a system that uses stair primers, in which the primer sequences are based on consensus sequences in the DNA polymerase gene of herpesvirus to detect herpesviruses by PCR. A single PCR in a single tube detected the six major herpesviruses that infect the central nervous system: herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1), and type 2 (HSV-2), cytomegalovirus (CMV), Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), varicella-zoster virus (VZV), and human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6). We used the technique to analyze 142 cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) samples that had been stored at -80 degrees C and compared the results with those obtained previously for the same samples by standard, targeted PCR. Four hundred one targeted PCR tests had been run with the 142 samples to detect HSV-1, HSV-2, CMV, and VZV; screening for EBV and HHV-6 was not prescribed when the samples were initially taken. Eighteen CSF samples tested positive by classic targeted PCR. The herpesvirus consensus PCR detected herpesviruses in 37 samples, including 3 samples with coinfections and 17 viral isolates which were not targeted. Two samples identified as infected by the targeted PCR tested negative by the consensus PCR, and eight samples that tested positive by the consensus PCR were negative by the targeted PCR. One hundred three samples scored negative by both the targeted and the consensus PCRs. This preliminary study demonstrates the value of testing for six different herpesviruses simultaneously by a sensitive and straightforward technique rather than screening only for those viruses that are causing infections as suggested by clinical signs. (+info)
EBV gene expression not altered in rheumatoid synovia despite the presence of EBV antigen-specific T cell clones.
T cells infiltrating the rheumatoid arthritis (RA) joint are oligoclonal, implicating an Ag-driven process, but the putative joint-specific Ags remain elusive. Here we examine expression of selected EBV genes in RA synovia and find no abnormal expression in RA. DNA of CMV and EBV was detectable by PCR in the synovial tissue of RA. RNA of several latent and lytic EBV genes was also detectable. However, there were no differences in EBV gene expression in synovial tissues or peripheral blood when comparing RA with osteoarthritis, Gulf War syndrome, and other disease controls. RA synovia with highly expanded CD8 T cell clones reactive with defined EBV peptide Ags presented by HLA class I alleles lacked evidence of abnormal mRNA expression for the relevant EBV Ag (BZLF1) or lacked amplifiable mRNA (BMLF1). Thus, local production of EBV Ags in synovial tissues may not be the cause of the accumulation of T cell clones specific for these Ags. Instead, APCs loaded with processed EBV peptides may migrate to the synovium. Alternatively, EBV-specific T cells clones may be generated in other tissues and then migrate to synovia, perhaps due to cross-reactive joint-specific Ags or because of expression of homing receptors. (+info)
Human herpesvirus 6 DNA in cerebrospinal fluid specimens from allogeneic bone marrow transplant patients: does it have clinical significance?
Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) specimens from 22 allogeneic bone marrow transplant patients with central nervous system (CNS) symptoms (cases) and 107 patients who were immunocompromised but did not have CNS symptoms (controls) were assayed for human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) DNA. HHV-6 DNA was detected in CSF specimens from five (23%) of 22 cases and in CSF specimens from one (0.9%) of 107 controls (P < .001, Fisher's exact test). In addition, none of the five cases with HHV-6 DNA detected in CSF samples had any other identified cause of their CNS symptoms, and none of the other 11 cases with known causes for their CNS diseases had HHV-6 DNA detected in CSF samples (P = .03, Fisher's exact test). In three cases, HHV-6 variant B was identified, and the HHV-6 variant could not be defined in the other two cases. Prophylaxis with acyclovir did not prevent the occurrence of HHV-6-associated CNS disease after allogeneic bone marrow transplantation. Four cases' conditions were improved or they were cured after treatment with either ganciclovir or foscarnet, and one case died of CNS disease despite foscarnet treatment. (+info)
Human herpesvirus 6 infects dendritic cells and suppresses human immunodeficiency virus type 1 replication in coinfected cultures.
Human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) has been implicated as a cofactor in the progressive loss of CD4(+) T cells observed in AIDS patients. Because dendritic cells (DC) play an important role in the immunopathogenesis of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) disease, we studied the infection of DC by HHV-6 and coinfection of DC by HHV-6 and HIV. Purified immature DC (derived from adherent peripheral blood mononuclear cells in the presence of granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor and interleukin-4) could be infected with HHV-6, as determined by PCR analyses, intracellular monoclonal antibody staining, and presence of virus in culture supernatants. However, HHV-6-infected DC demonstrated neither cytopathic changes nor functional defects. Interestingly, HHV-6 markedly suppressed HIV replication and syncytium formation in coinfected DC cultures. This HHV-6-mediated anti-HIV effect was DC specific, occurred when HHV-6 was added either before or after HIV, and was not due to decreased surface expression or function of CD4, CXCR4, or CCR5. Conversely, HIV had no demonstrable effect on HHV-6 replication. These findings suggest that HHV-6 may protect DC from HIV-induced cytopathicity in AIDS patients. We also demonstrate that interactions between HIV and herpesviruses are complex and that the observable outcome of dual infection is dependent on the target cell type. (+info)
Down-regulation of CXCR4 by human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) and HHV-7.
Recent studies have demonstrated that human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) and HHV-7 interact with HIV-1 and alter the expression of various surface molecules and functions of T lymphocytes. The present study was undertaken to clarify whether coreceptors for HIV-1, CXCR4 and CCR5, are necessary for HHV-6 and HHV-7 infection. Although CXCR4 and CCR5 appeared not to be the coreceptors for these viruses, marked down-regulation of CXCR4, but not CCR5, was detected in HHV-6 variant A (HHV-6A)-, HHV-6 variant B (HHV-6B)-, and HHV-7-infected cells. Down-regulation of CXCR4 resulted in impairment of chemotaxis and a decreased level of elevation of the intracellular Ca2+ concentration in response to stromal cell-derived factor-1. Northern blot analysis of mRNAs extracted from HHV-6A-, HHV-6B-, and HHV-7-infected CD4+ T lymphocytes demonstrated a markedly decreased level of CXCR4 gene transcription, but the posttranscriptional stability of CXCR4 mRNA was not significantly altered. These data demonstrate that unlike HIV-1, HHV-6 and HHV-7 infections do not require expression of CXCR4 or CCR5, whereas marked down-regulation of CXCR4 is induced by these viruses, suggesting that HHV-6 and HHV-7 infections may render CD4+ T lymphocytes resistant to T lymphocyte-tropic HIV-1 infection. (+info)