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J Med Virol ; 93(8): 5182-5187, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1298501


Infections due to human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) are frequent during early childhood. Usually, they have a favorable clinical course. Conversely, HHV-6 congenital infections occur in about 1% of neonates and may present with more severe clinical pictures. HHV-6 can be found in lung tissues and bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) samples from patients with pneumonia and in immunocompromised patients can cause mild to severe pneumonia. In neonates, the role of HHV-6 in the genesis of severe pneumonia is poorly defined still now. We describe a healthy infant with a late-onset (15 days of life) severe interstitial pneumonia and heavy HHV-6 genome load, persistently detected in its BAL fluid. The baby underwent high-frequency oscillatory ventilation, hydroxychloroquine, steroids, and ganciclovir for 6 weeks and at 9 months she died. Next-generation sequencing of genes known to cause neonatal respiratory insufficiency revealed the presence of a "probably pathogenetic" heterozygous variant in the autosomal recessive DRC1 gene, a heterozygous variant of unknown significance (VUS) in the autosomal recessive RSPH9 gene, and a heterozygous VUS in the autosomal recessive MUC5B gene. HHV-6 infection should be considered in the differential diagnosis of late-onset severe respiratory distress in neonates and the co-occurrence of genetic predisposing factors or modifiers should be tested by specific molecular techniques. The intensity of HHV-6 genome load in BAL fluid could be an indicator of the response to antiviral therapy.

Genetic Predisposition to Disease/genetics , Lung Diseases, Interstitial/genetics , Roseolovirus Infections/genetics , Cytoskeletal Proteins/genetics , Fatal Outcome , Female , Genetic Variation , Herpesvirus 6, Human/genetics , Herpesvirus 6, Human/isolation & purification , Heterozygote , Humans , Infant, Newborn , Lung Diseases, Interstitial/therapy , Lung Diseases, Interstitial/virology , Microtubule-Associated Proteins/genetics , Mucin-5B/genetics , Pneumonia, Viral/genetics , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Roseolovirus Infections/therapy , Roseolovirus Infections/virology , Viral Load