HHv6 found in chromosomes

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Bluebottle, Sep 4, 2008.

  1. Bluebottle

    Bluebottle New Member

    Source: Reuters
    Date: September 2, 2008
    Author: Maggie Fox, Health and Science Editor
    Editing by Will Dunham and Mohammad Zargham
    URL: http://www.reuters.com/article/scienceNews/idUSN0244571620080902

    Virus is passed from parent to child in the DNA

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A virus that causes a universal childhood infection is
    often passed from parent to child at birth, not in the blood but in the DNA,
    U.S. researchers said on Tuesday.

    They found that most babies infected with the HHV-6 virus, which causes roseola,
    had the virus integrated into their chromosomes. Not only that, but either the
    father or mother also had the virus in the chromosomes, suggesting it was a
    so-called germline transmission - passed on in egg or sperm.

    "This is really a unique mechanism for congenital infections," said Dr. Caroline
    Breese Hall, a pediatrician at the University of Rochester Medical Center in New
    York who led the study published in the journal Pediatrics.

    Her team is now investigating what this means for the children.

    "If you have a chromosome that has got a virus integrated into it, what does it
    mean? What does it do? Can it activate again? Can it start spewing out virus and
    cause problems? Can you get an immune response to it?" she said in a telephone

    The questions are critical because nearly everybody is infected with HHV-6. It
    is a herpes virus that causes roseola - an infection marked by high fever and
    the usual vague virus symptoms that may include respiratory or stomach problems.

    About 20 percent of children also have a characteristic sudden rash that appears
    just as the fever breaks.

    Hall's team studied 250 infants, 85 with HHV-6. Of them, 43 were born with the
    virus and 42 were infected later.

    Most of the babies born with the virus - a congenital infection - had the
    virus in the chromosome. Hall said the assumption had been that the virus
    somehow crossed the placenta from mother to child, but in 86 percent of cases,
    it was inherited directly in the genetic material. Just 14 percent were infected
    across the placenta.

    Tests showed either the mother or the father - but not both - also had HHV-6
    in the chromosomes.

    "Because we know a parent already had the virus in the chromosome, we know that
    it didn't spontaneously wiggle its way in once the baby got it," Hall said.

    There were several spots where the virus integrated into the DNA, but usually
    right at the end of the chromosome, where a key structure called the telomere is
    found. Telomeres protect the chromosome and are involved in aging and immune

    The virus is everywhere in people who inherit it, Hall said. "In your hair, your
    nails, your skin, your blood, and at very high titers (levels)," she said.

    The babies infected this way did not appear ill but Hall wants to follow them as
    they grow up to see if they develop normally. They all had antibodies to HHV-6,
    which is evidence of an immune reaction of some sort.

    There is no drug licensed to treat HHV-6 infection.

    Other viruses are known to integrate into the DNA and pass on from parent to
    child, but these so-called human endogenous retroviruses have never been known
    to cause symptoms or activate an immune response.
  2. ladybugmandy

    ladybugmandy Member

    you can probably read more about chromosomially integrated HHV6 on the HHV 6 foundation website.

    they have suspected HERV (human endogenous retroviruses) to be a culprit in many illnesses, including MS.
  3. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    That this article does not mention that there are two strains of HHV-6, the A strain and the B strain. It is thought that the A strain is the one which appears to cause those of us with these illnesses so many symptoms. Not as much is knows about HHV-6 as some of the other Herpes-Family Viruses. I took the transfer factor which targets both strains. Like all the Herpes Viruses, HHV-6 can be chronic or can reactivate and cause an active infection. I keep Acyclovir on hand in case any chronic viral infections try to reactivate.

    Thanks for this info. Everything we learn about these infections helps us to better understand them.

    Love, Mikie
  4. waltz

    waltz New Member

    So I wonder what happens when someone with chromosomally integrated HHV-6 is given an antiviral such as Valcyte (Valganciclovir) which targets a DNA polymerase? How does it affect the person's chromosomes and genes in cells?
  5. Lichu3

    Lichu3 New Member

    Montoya is aware of this and does do the testing for it in his clinic. I don't know if is was done in the trial. The test is a PCR for HHV-6.

    Waltz, Valcyte (and others similar like Valtrex) targets viral, not human, DNA polymerase. The selectivity for viral vs. human DNA polymerase is in the several-hundred fold range if I remember right.
  6. waltz

    waltz New Member

    Thanks for your replies. I guess I was just thinking aloud not really expecting anyone to have an answer.

    Regarding human versus viral DNA polymerase, obviously I don't know much about the subject of chromosomally integrated viruses, but I guess I was wondering how virus and human DNA gets integrated and whether the viral gene sections might bring along their own viral DNA polymerases... or do people who get chromosomally integrated viruses have something in common with the virus proteins.

    I wonder whether that has something to do with antivirals being damaging to mitochondria which have their own DNA, and Valcyte's effect on fertility (is that preventing sperm DNA from being copied?)

    Anyway, pardon me, I am jumping all over the place... probably not going to make much sense unless I go read a couple bio/medical textbooks. I will go check out the HHV-6 Foundation references sometime.
  7. ladybugmandy

    ladybugmandy Member


    you said the HHV6 PCR test can test for chromosomally integrated HHV 6 but how can they tell whether it's not just an HHV 6 infection? is it the # of copies they find?

  8. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    Can manipulate and replicate the body's own DNA in order to thrive below the body's immune radar. That is what makes them able to hide out. Autoimmune disease can ensue if the immune system confuses the body's DNA and starts to attack it along with whatever stealth pathogen is present.

    Dr. Nicolson told me in an e-mail that this is a danger with mycoplasma infections.

    There is also a danger when a pathogen kills the host cell it has been inhabiting. The pathogen can drag some of the genetic material from the dead cell with it when it goes into the bloodstream in search of a new host cell to infect. If the immune system detects the pathogen and attacks it, it may start attacking the body's DNA as well because it is attached to the pathogen and seen as something foreign.

    I do not believe we can heal if we don't address our chronic/stealth infections. This includes Heparin if the infection has caused fibrin overgrowth in the bloodstream, allowing the pathogens to thrive in a low-oxygen environment. Pathogens also hide in the fibrin clots and are exposed when the fibrin is broken up.

    Love, Mikie
  9. Lichu3

    Lichu3 New Member

    I think they look at the number of copies of HHV-6 DNA which can be very, very high for CIHHV-6.

    I don't know if they do this yet but varying primers (which help restrict the pieces of DNA one want to amplify -- like two bookends holding a stack of books in between) when doing PCR may provide some way to distinguish between the two. For example, using a primer which include both pieces of human and virus DNA (= chromosome integration) vs. primer with only viral DNA (= replication outside human DNA).

    For a cool look at how PCR/ primers work, go to:



    In the meantime, it looks like families/ sibs/ young people who have CFS should consider getting this test done.

  10. ladybugmandy

    ladybugmandy Member

    well this is very interesting....it could explain why some families seem to have multiple members with CFS while others have only one, and there is no clear-cut evidence of it being contagious....
  11. LonelyHearts

    LonelyHearts New Member

  12. LonelyHearts

    LonelyHearts New Member

  13. LonelyHearts

    LonelyHearts New Member