Virological and serological studies were carried out prospectively to evaluate the possible activation of human herpesvirus‐6 (HHV‐6) in 50 infants and children with acute measles by isolation of HHV‐6 from peripheral blood and by determining neutralizing antibodies to the virus. All but 5 patients (90%) were seropositive to HHV‐6 in the acute stage of measles and 18 (40%) had a significant increase in HHV‐6 antibody titers thereafter, whereas only 2 of 27 patients who were initially seropositive to Epstein‐Barr virus (EBV) viral capsid antigen (VCA) had a significant rise in antibody titers to EBV VCA. Among 18 patients with a significant increase in HHV‐6 titers, the virus was isolated from the peripheral blood mononuclear cells of three patients in the early convalescent stage of measles. These results indicate that activation of HHV‐6 may occur frequently a few weeks after primary infection with the measles virus. © 1992 Wiley‐Liss, Inc.
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