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International Research Journal of Microbiology

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Prevalence of human herpes virus 6 (HHV-6) antibodies and viral DNA in Saudi renal transplant recipients

Abstract

Obeid E Obeid

Human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) is a ß-herpesvirus that is characteristically T-lymphotropic. It is regarded to be a major pathogen in transplant recipients. Very little is known about the prevalence of HHV-6 in Saudi transplant recipients . The aim of the current study was to determine the HHV-6 antibodies (IgM and IgG) and viral DNA in Saudi renal transplant recipients. The study was conducted a tertiary hospital in Eastern Saudi Arabia over a period of 12 months. All kidney transplant recipients who regularly attended the nephrology clinics were included (n=150) (blood donors). Randomly selected control individuals, age and sex matched were recruited to serve as a control group in this study (n=158). Seropostivity for HHV-6 was determined by testing for IgG and IgM antibodies employing HHV-6 EIA and IFA. HHV-6 viral DNA was assessed by real time PCR (Sacace Biotechnologies, Italy). Of the 150 Saudi kidney transplant recipients included in this study, 145 had detectable level of Anti-HHV-6 IgG antibodies (96.7%). Anti-HHV-6 IgG antibodies were detected in 122 out of 158 blood donors (control group; 77.2%). Of the 145 HHV-6 IgG positive transplant recipients, only 4 were found to have detectable levels of anti-HHV-6 IgM antibodies (2.7%). None of the HHV-6 IgG positive blood donors had detectable anti-HHV-6 IgM antibodies. HHV-6 viral DNA was detected by real time PCR in all the 4 HHV-6 IgM-positive individuals (100%). There is a high frequency of detectable HHV-6 in the studied population of renal transplant recipients. Further investigation to monitor HHV-6 primary infection reactivation in graft recipients may prove to be important in improving the outcome for these patients.

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