ME/CFS RESEARCH FORUM: 26-27 March 2007
University of Adelaide
Convenor: Alison Hunter Memorial Foundation
Peterson DL, Pomeranz D, Hagen K, Hsu B, Setter C, Lombardi V, Mikovits JA
Incidence of Chromosomally Integrated HHV-6 (CIHHV-6) in a Cohort of CFS patients with Clonal TCRg and Lymphoid Malignancies.
HHV-6 is unique among human herpes viruses in its ability to integrate into host cell chromosomes using a viral genome encoded integrase gene. The entire HHV-6 genome has been found integrated into several chromosomes, at the long arms of chromosomes 1 and 22 and the short arm of chromosome 17 at the telomeric ends of the DNA. The integrated virus is found in all types of cells, from peripheral blood mononuclear cells to neoplastic cells, though the correlation between integration site and cell type or disease entity has not been determined. In this study we sought to determine the prevalence of CIHHV-6 in a cohort of American CFS patients with clonal TCR-y rearrangements and lymphoid malignancies and patients with evidence of active HHV-6 infection. DNA was isolated from a single hair follicle and a PCR assay was validated to detect CIHHV-6 at a sensitivity of 10 copies per ml. Germ-line CIHHV-6 was detected in DNA isolated from three patients’ hair follicles in a 60 patient CFS cohort with a clonal TCR-y rearrangement . Two of the three patients with CIHHV6- had clonal TCR-y rearrangements, one integrated for HHV-6A and the other for HHV-6B. A determination of the prevalence in American CFS patients will contribute a key element in the understanding of the integrated virus and help answer the question of whether this virus contributes to CFS, malignancy and the immunodeficiency associated with both conditions. Furthermore, determination of the integration status in infected individuals may lead to better understanding of the HHV-6 life cycle and its impact on the immune system.
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