Background: Entire genome of human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) that integrates into human chromosomes is called chromosomally integrated HHV-6 (ciHHV-6). Several viral infections have been suggested to be involved in autoimmune connective tissue diseases (CTDs). Reactivated HHV-6 from the integrated viral genome can induce immune responses against the virus. Thus, it is plausible that ciHHV-6 is associated with autoimmune CTDs. Objectives: We sought to determine whether the prevalence of ciHHV-6 was significantly higher in patients with autoimmune CTDs than in a healthy population. Study design: : A total of 846 peripheral blood samples collected from autoimmune CTD patients were analyzed. Since there was a large number of samples, they were pooled into 24 samples per group. Copy numbers of HHV-6 DNA were measured by real-time PCR. The threshold level for distinguishing between ciHHV-6 and active viral infection and the reliability of pooled DNA analysis were examined as initial validation experiments. Results: : The threshold level was 1.6 × 10^6 copy/mL in whole blood. The reliability of pooled DNA analysis to identify one ciHHV-6 sample among 23 HHV-6 DNA-negative samples was high. No HHV-6 DNA was detected in any of the pooled DNA samples collected from the patients. The probability of the present study including the 846 autoimmune CTD patient's samples was statistically not different with a healthy Japanese population which was 0.2 % or 0.6 %. Conclusions: There was no significant difference in the prevalence of ciHHV-6 between a healthy population and patients with autoimmune CTDs.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Infectious Diseases