Biological & molecular characteristics of human herpesvirus 7: in vitro growth optimization & development of a syncytia inhibition test

Two isolates of human herpesvirus 7 (HHV-7) were recovered from

phytohemagglutinin-activated peripheral blood mononuclear

cells of a patient with chronic fatigue syndrome and of a

healthy blood donor. A genetic polymorphism between the two

isolates was detected by Southern blot analysis using a novel

HHV-7 genomic clone (pVL8) as a probe. We developed optimized

conditions for the in vitro propagation of HHV-7 by using

enriched populations of activated CD4+ T lymphocytes derived

from normal peripheral blood, resulting in the production of

high-titered extracellular virus (> 10(6) cell culture

infectious doses/ml). Bona fide syncytia formation was

documented both in normal CD4+ T lymphocytes and in the Sup-T1

CD4+ T-cell line following infection with high-titered HHV-7.

To identify neutralizing antibodies to HHV-7, a

syncytia-inhibition test was developed. Variable titers of

syncytia-neutralizing antibodies were detected in all the

human sera tested, thus confirming the high prevalence of

HHV-7 in the human population.

MCM: Authors state this is the 2nd case report of HHV7

isolated from a CFS pt.

Secchiero P, Berneman ZN, Gallo RC, Lusso P

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