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Infectious Virus Hides In Human Chromosomes During Latency And Can Be Passed From Parents To Their Children,
Date:3/8/2010

h aging and cancer.

Finally, the team showed that the chromosomally integrated HHV-6 (CIHHV-6) genomes can be reactivated to an infectious form.

The findings are a surprise, since other human herpesviruses cause permanent infection by a different mechanism. The round up their DNA into a little circle that resides inside the nucleus of the cell: they do not insert their DNA into the chromosomes.

The paper describing this research was published online in PNAS on March 8. “This is an exciting and provocative series of observations. The questions raised by this work will keep herpes virologists busy for years,” predicted HHV-6 expert Phil Pellett, PhD of Wayne State University.

HHV-6 was discovered in 1986 in the laboratory of Dr. Robert C. Gallo at the National Cancer Institute after Gallo asked his co-workers to look for a herpesvirus in AIDS lymphoma cases that might be triggering cancer. “In my mind these findings also should stimulate further studies on a possible role of HHV-6 in some cancers as suggested by others who have found a possible link to some lymphomas,” Dr. Gallo commented. “However, clearly more work will be needed to advance any conclusion in this regard.”

HHV-6 causes roseola, a generally benign rash and fever in infants. The virus can reactivate in individuals with suppressed immune systems, sometimes causing serious consequences such as encephalitis, hepatitis, myocarditis, and pneumonia.

Recent research has suggested that HHV-6 may a
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