Chapter 5 : Herpes Simplex Virus, Varicella-Zoster Virus, Human Herpesvirus 6, and Human Herpesvirus 7

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Herpes Simplex Virus, Varicella-Zoster Virus, Human Herpesvirus 6, and Human Herpesvirus 7, Page 1 of 2

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The four viruses herpes simplex virus (HSV), varicella-zoster virus (VZV), human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6), and human herpesvirus 7 (HHV-7), discussed in this chapter, are all members of the family . Each organism is discussed separately in order to better describe the specific details of the pathogenesis, epidemiology, and diagnostic testing. The majority of cases of HSV reactivation occur in the initial few weeks after transplantation, at the time of maximum pharmacologic immunosuppression. As the majority of immunocompromised patients have recurrent infections with HSV, the role of serology in these patients is of limited diagnostic value. Detection of HSV DNA does not require live virus; therefore, specimen quality is not jeopardized by delays in transport time or fluctuations in transport temperature like it would be for viral culture. Tyrosine kinase-negative VZV strains have been identified, and infections caused by the strains should be treated with foscarnet. The immunocompromised states covered in the chapter include patients who have undergone bone marrow and solid organ transplantation. The majority of the literature surrounding the role of HHV-6 in the transplant population regards patients with bone marrow transplantation. A study compared staining for HHV-6 by using immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization to polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis of tonsillar epithelia of nonimmunosuppressed individuals undergoing tonsillectomy in an attempt to determine if lymphoid tissue was a site of latency in the immunocompetent population. Molecular methods of detection for each of these viruses are sensitive, specific, and available with a relatively short turnaround time.

Citation: Revell P, Clark III J, Rogers B. 2009. Herpes Simplex Virus, Varicella-Zoster Virus, Human Herpesvirus 6, and Human Herpesvirus 7, p 113-128. In Hayden R, Carroll K, Tang Y, Wolk D (ed), Diagnostic Microbiology of the Immunocompromised Host. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815455.ch5

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Table 1.

Diagnostic methods for detection of the four viruses discussed in this chapter

Citation: Revell P, Clark III J, Rogers B. 2009. Herpes Simplex Virus, Varicella-Zoster Virus, Human Herpesvirus 6, and Human Herpesvirus 7, p 113-128. In Hayden R, Carroll K, Tang Y, Wolk D (ed), Diagnostic Microbiology of the Immunocompromised Host. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815455.ch5

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