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News and Research: herpesvirus in brain and spinal column of ME/CFS

Article: Tissue specific signature of HHV-6 infection in ME/CFS Frontiers in Molecular Bioscience


Researchers examined brain and spinal cord postmortem tissue samples from ME/CFS patients. They found that HHV-6 (human herpesvirus 6) miRNA was abundant in these tissues. This was in stark contrast to control tissue samples. Additionally, the researchers found active EBV infection in the ME/CFS tissue.

Human herpesvirus 6 infects and replicates in T cells. It was first identified in AIDS patients in the 1980s, and it is estimated that almost everyone has had it (usually by the age of two). Like all herpesviruses, HHV-6 is a latent virus that remains in the body throughout life. HHV-6 integrates into the telomeres of host cell chromosomes.[ref]

If HHV-6 is integrated into egg or sperm cells, it can be passed on to the next generation. The viral DNA will be integrated into all cells of those people. It is estimated that about ~1% of the population carries HHV-6 in all of their cells.[ref]

About the Author:
Debbie Moon is the founder of Genetic Lifehacks. Fascinated by the connections between genes, diet, and health, her goal is to help you understand how to apply genetics to your diet and lifestyle decisions. Debbie has a BS in engineering from Colorado School of Mines and an MSc in biological sciences from Clemson University. Debbie combines an engineering mindset with a biological systems approach to help you understand how genetic differences impact your optimal health.