Persistent Long-Term Human Herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) Infection in a Patient with Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis

Márta CSIRE1, Gábor MIKALA2, János JÁKÓ3, Tamás MASSZI2, Judit JÁNOSI2, János DOLGOS2, Tibor FÜLE4, Attila TORDAI5, György BERENCSI1, István VÁLYI-NAGY3

1Division of Virology, National Center for Epidemiology, Budapest, Hungary
2Department of Hematology and Stem Cell Transplantation, National Medical Center, Budapest, Hungary
31st Department of Internal Medicine, National Medical Center, Budapest, Hungary
4Department of Molecular Pathology, Joint Research Organization of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and Semmelweis University, Budapest, Hungary
5Department of Molecular Diagnostics, National Medical Center, Budapest, Hungary


Langerhans cell histiocytosis (eosinophilic granuloma) was first diagnosed in the adolescence of a male patient presented. Several years later persisting human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) infection was recognized. The HHV-6 infection could be verified retrospectively in his historical histological samples; the continuous presence of HHV-6 could be established through 17 years of disease course. The patient was operated several times during this period for painful relapses, and developed diabetes insipidus. At variable time points during the clinical course, Varicella zoster (VZV), Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8) infections were temporarily detected from blood samples and biopsy specimens. HHV-6 was the only virus continuously identified throughout the entire follow-up period. Antiviral therapy effectively cleared EBV and HHV-8, but HHV-6 remained detectable throughout the disease course. Since DNA sequences of HHV-6 could be detected in the pathologic histiocytes of eosinophilic granuloma, and from other samples taken later on, it is suggested that long-term HHV-6 infection may be associated with development or progression of Langerhans cell histiocytosis. Pathology & Oncology Research, Vol 13, Nr 2, 157-160, 2007

Key words: Langerhans cell histiocytosis; eosinophilic granuloma; HHV-6; human herpesviruses; herpesvirus reactivation

Received: Aug 30, 2006; accepted: Mar 10, 2007
Correspondence: Márta CSIRE, Division of Virology, National Center for Epidemiology, 2-6. Gyáli út Budapest H-1097, Hungary; Tel: (+36-1) 476-1264, Fax: (+36-1) 476-1368; E-mail:

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