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Active HHV-6 Viremia in Patients with Multiple Sclerosis: Correlation with Clinical Disease Relapse

Lorri J. Lobeck1, Konstance K. Knox2, , Eric F. Maas1, Gregory Harrington, MD1, and Donald R. Carrigan2
Wisconsin and Department of Neurology, Medical College of Wisconsin1, 9200 W Wisconsin Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53226
Institute for Viral Pathogenesis2, 10437 Innovation Drive, Milwaukee, WI 53226
Presented at the 125th Annual Meeting of the American Neurological Association
October 16, 2000
Boston, Massachusetts


The studies described here  assessed the use of a rapid culture technique to identify active human herpesvirus six (HHV-6) in the peripheral blood of patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) during disease relapse.  Active HHV-6 viremia was detected in only 1% of healthy control subjects.  In contrast, roughly 50% of patients with MS from two medical centers  tested positive for the presence of active HHV-6 viremia.  Study of paired samples from a portion of the MS patients demonstrated a significant correlation between clinical disease relapses and active HHV-6 viremia.


Patients and Methods


Detection of Active HHV-6 Viremia


Cross-Sectional Study of Active HHV-6 Viremia in Patients with MS

Correlation Between Clinical Relapse and Active HHV-6 Viremia

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Figure 1

Cross Sectional Study of the Incidence of Active HHV-6 Viremia in Symptomatic Patients with Multiple Sclerosis. The Kansas City patients are from a previously published study (Knox et al. Clin Infect Dis 2000; 31: 894-903). Normal control subjects consisted of healthy laboratory and hospital workers and well screened healthy blood donors.

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Table 1

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Figure 2
Positivity Rates for Active HHV-6 Viremia in MS Patients at the Time of a New Clinical Relapse and Same Patients Several Weeks Later. 


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