2001 Clinical and Scientific Meeting


D. Ablashi [1], M. Roman [1], C. Owen [1], S. Gupta [2], C.V. Herst [3], D. Peterson [4], S. Levine [5], R. Harris [6], P. Frank [7], W. Philip [7], and J. Whitman [1]

1: ABI Inc,
Columbia, MD,
2: University of California,
Irvine, CA,
3: R.E.D. Laboratories,
4: Sierra Internal Med,
Incline Village, NV,
5: CFS Clinic,
New York, NY,
6: CBI,
Richmond, VA,
  7: Vigen Laboratories,
Wilmette, IL,

Evidence of Active HHV-6 Infection and Its Correlation with RNase L Low Molecular Weight Protein (37 KDa) in CFS Patients

We studied HHV-6 frequency of active infection in CFS patients by co-culture of PBMCs, IgM response, presence of HHV-6 DNA by nested and real time TaqMan PCR. Since the levels of RNase L and LMW protein i.e. 37 KDa is consistently detected in PBMCs of CFS patients, we correlated the 37 KDa protein with active HHV-6 infection. In general, 35 CFS patients with varying disease manifestation showed that >65% had active HHV-6 infection with varying HHV-6 IgM antibody, and HHV-6 infected PBMC's. Cerebral spinal fluids (CSF) from 30 CFS patients, 26.7% (8/30) had HHV-6 DNA.

HHV-6 DNA was also detected in the plasma of 12/35 (34%) patients by nested PCR, however, by TaqMan PCR plasma and CSF showed that >48.5% plasma (17/35), and 12/30 CSF (40%) contained HHV-6 DNA, showing higher sensitivity of the assay. TaqMan PCR detected higher viral DNA copy number in the plasma than CSF. HHV-6 IgM levels ranged from1:20 to >1:320. HHV-6 Variant A infection was identified by TaqMan PCR in almost all the positive patients. IgM titers correlated with short-term culture. HHV-6 infection was present in 26/40 (65%) CFS patients' PBMCs and ratio of LMW to HMW protein (80 KDa) was detected in 28/40 (70%) PBMCs samples. Correlation of HHV-6 infection and 37 KDa protein was significant, when the ratio of 37/80 KDa was >4.0.

In conclusion: Higher frequency of HHV-6 reactivation was detected in CFS patients, using various assays. HHV-6 Variant A infection was predominant in CFS. HHV-6 infection also correlated with 37 KDa protein. However, IgM antibody and PCR correlation was less significant.


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