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Dharam Ablashi's Chat Transcript from the AACFS Seattle Conference

  [ 62 votes ]   [ Discuss This Article ] • January 27, 2001

Please Welcome as our Host Dharam Ablashi V, DVM. Dharam is Director of Herpesvirus Programs at Advanced Biotechnologies Inc. in Columbia, MD. He is Adjunct professor of Microbiology/Immunology at Georgetown University School of Medicine.

Question directed to Dr. Ablashi
tevek: Are you looking at the spinal fluid of CFS/FMS patients and comparing it to MS patients, like Ben Natelson is doing at the VA in New Jersey?

DrAblashi: We also looked at the spinal fluid from MS patients and the results are very similar. These results are based on PCR, which was nested which indicated active infection. Today we presented this evidence that infection can be found to a low degree in the spinal fluid and in 18 % in the plasma of CSF patients.

prohealth911 DR A will now answer the following: [jimbo] what of the recent government study showing HHV6 is not correlated to CFS?

DrAblashi: There are 2 studies reported: one by CDC, the other by Dr. Ben Nadelson’s group from NJ. As I pointed out today in the conference the findings of positive results of HHV-6 is the result of the assays one will use. For example, our group, Dr. Knox's group in Milwaukee, Prof. Krueger in Germany, and Dr. Chetccrini-Nelli in Italy all use the culture assay system, which is the most sensitive technique for detecting active HHV-6 in the blood. Even though nested PCR is very sensitive to detect infection, however to find an infectious virus in the blood or spinal fluid or plasma is extremely low. So, the negative results mean nothing, and they have to be confirmed by more than one essay.

Question directed to Dr. Ablashi
Robyn: Is there a connection between HHV6 and Sjogrens Syndrome?

DrAblashi: Robyn, there is no connection. Since Sjogrens Syndrome is an autoimmune syndrome there is a high evidence of antibodies but basing the evidence on antibodies is not sufficient to implicate HHV-6 in the syndrome.

Question directed to Dr. Ablashi
ms1: An association for CFS claims that there is a retrovirus inside HHV-6--is this correct?

DrAblashi: It is not correct. We have examined many HHV-6 infected cultures from patients, healthy donors, and chronically infected cells with HHV-6 using various methods, including electron microscopy, and all these studies show no retrovirus associated with HHV-6. However, HHV-6 can infect CD4 positive cells that are simultaneously infected with the HIV virus.

Question directed to Dr. Ablashi
jimbo: Does isoprinosine work on HHV-6?

DrAblashi: No, we don't know because we have not done any testing on that.

Question directed to Dr. Ablashi
LVDesertRose: How effective is Ampligen against chronically infected cells?

DrAblashi: Chronically infected cells, if they are producing the virus HHV-6, will be blocked in these cells because Ampligen works on the viral DNA polymerase, which is similar to the nucliside antilog such as phoscarnate.

Question directed to Dr. Ablashi
tevek: Do you think the live Simian virus that was in the polio vaccines in the 1950's has anything to do with any illness?

DrAblashi: The Simian virus may infect the animal cells and may cause an infection in such animals. However, the Simian virus has not, to my knowledge, infected humans.

Question directed to Dr. Ablashi
JennG: Dr. Ablashi, I have a titer of HHV-6 that's 4 times the upper limit (1:80 versus 1:20). What treatment do you recommend? And what about the connection between HHV-6 and MS?

DrAblashi: First, is this titer IgG antibody, or is it IgM antibody? At a fourfold increase in IgG antibody indicates that virus must have replicated at one time. However, an IgM antibody is an indicator of virus reactivation at the time antibody is detected. [JennG: It's IgG.] JennG, That is a normal titer. However, a titer of 320 or more is an indicator of reactivation at one time.

JennG: Does this mean mine isn't active now?

DrAblashi: Yes.

Question directed to Dr. Ablashi
jimbo: Does Ampligen kill HHV-6, or just contain it while on the drug?

DrAblashi: It does not kill, it blocks the virus from coming out of the cells. If you remove the Ampligen in culture from the infected cells, these cells will replicate the virus again.

Question directed to Dr. Ablashi
Robyn: Is there a lower killer T count in people with HHV-6? Have you seen an increase in killer T counts with people using Valtrex or other antivirals? Which antiviral would you recommend?

DrAblashi: Dr. Joseph Brewer, from Kansas City Mo, has evidence in some CFS patients that active HHV-6 infections corrolated with lower NK cell’s activity. To my knowledge, one group in Italy did find that there was an increase in the NK cell function in a few of the CFS patients they tested. At present Foscarnet is the best bet; ganicilyoir is not effective, mostly on the A strains of HHV-6. Ampligen is a factor, however, cost is a big factor. Valcyclovir studies are not yet completed by Dr. Jackie Freedman from Rockefeller University on MS patients.

prohealth911 Unfortunately, we have run out of time. We thank Dr. Ablashi for hosting this chat and hope that you have all benefited from the answers given. I apologize if we were not able to answer all your questions. Please return at 11am Pacific time tomorrow morning to chat with Kim Kenney of the CFIDS Association of America.

Click here for more past chat transcripts

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