Human herpesvirus 6 infection in febrile infants ninety days of age and younger

Carrie L. Byington, Danielle M. Zerr, E. William Taggart, Long Nguy, David R. Hillyard, Karen C. Carroll, Lawrence Corey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Background. The importance of human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) as a pathogen in febrile infants ≤90 days of age is unknown. Objective. To determine whether febrile infants 90 days of age and younger evaluated for sepsis have evidence of HHV-6 DNA in plasma or cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). Methods. Febrile infants ≤90 days of age were tested for HHV-6 DNA using a real time quantitative fluorescent probe polymerase chain reaction assay. Results. Eighty samples from 47 infants were tested for HHV-6 DNA; 5 of 47 infants (10.6%) had HHV-6 DNA in plasma. In 2 of the 5 infants with HHV-6 DNA in plasma, HHV-6 DNA was also detected in the CSF. Both infants with evidence of HHV-6 DNA in plasma and CSF had HHV-6 Variant A infection. The quantity of HHV-6 DNA detected ranged from 70 to 169 000 DNA copies/ml. One infant with HHV-6 variant B infection had concomitant Escherichia coli bacteremia and urinary tract infection. Conclusions. Approximately 10% of febrile infants ≤90 days of age evaluated for sepsis had evidence of HHV-6 infection. HHV-6 Variant A and B infections were seen in these young infants. HHV-6 DNA was found in infants with and without another explanation for fever. Quantification of viral DNA may be important in determining the relevance of HHV-6 DNA in clinical specimens.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)996-999
Number of pages4
JournalPediatric Infectious Disease Journal
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Fever
  • Human herpesvirus 6
  • Infant

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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