Reactivation of human β-herpesviruses (cytomegalovirus [CMV], human herpesvirus [HHV]-6, and HHV-7) in nonimmunocompromised hosts is rare. Because these viruses are susceptible to reactivation by cytokines and stress-related mechanisms, the incidence of their reactivation was investigated among 120 patients during stress related to critical illness and compared with findings among 50 healthy volunteers. Human β-herpesvirus DNA was found in 65% of critically ill patients (60% men; mean age, 63 years) who required admission to an intensive care unit for medical (40%) or surgical (53%) indications or trauma (7%). HHV-6 reactivation was higher in critically ill patients than in healthy volunteers (54/101 vs. 0/50; P = .001). All patients except 1 were confirmed as HHV-6 variant A (mean virus load, 5066 copies/106 peripheral blood leukocytes). The reactivation of HHV-6A did not affect disease severity and outcome. No significant reactivation of HHV-7 or CMV was demonstrated among the critically ill patients. These findings contribute to the less-defined epidemiology of HHV-6A infection.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||4|
|Journal||Journal of Infectious Diseases|
|State||Published - Jan 1 2002|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy
- Infectious Diseases