Detection of HHV-6B reactivation in hematopoietic cell transplant recipients with inherited chromosomally integrated HHV-6A by droplet digital PCR.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Journal of clinical microbiology (2016)


The presence of inherited chromosomally integrated human herpesvirus 6 (ciHHV-6) in hematopoietic cell transplant (HCT) donors or recipients confounds molecular testing for HHV-6 reactivation, which occurs in 30-50% of transplants. Here we describe a multiplex droplet digital PCR clinical diagnostic assay that concurrently distinguishes between HHV-6 species (A or B) and identifies inherited ciHHV-6. By applying this assay to recipient post-HCT plasma and serum samples, we demonstrate reactivation of HHV-6B in 25% (4/16) of HCT recipients with donor or recipient-derived inherited ciHHV-6A, underscoring the need for diagnostic testing for HHV-6 infection even in the presence of ciHHV-6.