BACKGROUND: Human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) can be genetically transmitted from parent to child as inherited chromosomally integrated HHV-6 (iciHHV-6). HHV-6 reactivation occurs in pregnant women with iciHHV-6. We found no sex differences in the frequency of index cases with iciHHV-6 but inheritance from the father was more common. We evaluated the association between iciHHV-6 status and spontaneous abortion. METHODS: iciHHV-6 was confirmed by high viral DNA copy numbers in whole blood and somatic cells. The origin of integrated viral genome, paternal or maternal, was examined using the same method. The pregnancy history of 23 mothers in families with iciHHV-6 and 285 mothers in families without iciHHV-6 was abstracted. RESULTS: Of 23 iciHHV-6 index cases, 8 mothers and 15 fathers had iciHHV-6. Spontaneous abortion rates in mothers with and mothers without/fathers with iciHHV-6 and mothers in families without iciHHV-6 were 27.6%, 10.3%, and 14.8%, respectively (P = .012). Mothers with iciHHV-6 (odds ratio [OR], 6.41; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.10-37.4) and maternal age at the most recent pregnancy ≥40 years (OR, 3.91; 95% CI, 1.30-11.8) were associated with 2 or more spontaneous abortions. CONCLUSIONS: Mothers with iciHHV-6 is a risk factor for spontaneous abortion.
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