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Human Herpesviruses 6A and 6B in Brain Diseases: Association versus Causation.

Authors
  • Komaroff, Anthony L1
  • Pellett, Philip E2
  • Jacobson, Steven3
  • 1 Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA [email protected]
  • 2 Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, Michigan, USA.
  • 3 Virology/Immunology Section, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, USA.
Type
Published Article
Journal
Clinical Microbiology Reviews
Publisher
American Society for Microbiology
Publication Date
Dec 16, 2020
Volume
34
Issue
1
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1128/CMR.00143-20
PMID: 33177186
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Human herpesvirus 6A (HHV-6A) and human herpesvirus 6B (HHV-6B), collectively termed HHV-6A/B, are neurotropic viruses that permanently infect most humans from an early age. Although most people infected with these viruses appear to suffer no ill effects, the viruses are a well-established cause of encephalitis in immunocompromised patients. In this review, we summarize the evidence that the viruses may also be one trigger for febrile seizures (including febrile status epilepticus) in immunocompetent infants and children, mesial temporal lobe epilepsy, multiple sclerosis (MS), and, possibly, Alzheimer's disease. We propose criteria for linking ubiquitous infectious agents capable of producing lifelong infection to any neurologic disease, and then we examine to what extent these criteria have been met for these viruses and these diseases. Copyright © 2020 American Society for Microbiology.

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