Details about herpesvirus type 6
The human herpes virus (HHV) has 8 of the most studied strains of viruses, one of which is herpes type 6. A feature of herpes type 6 is the defeat of lymphocytes. It is very resistant to antiviral drugs and has 2 types. In children, the virus usually causes baby roseola, and in adults, chronic fatigue syndrome and other diseases, which we will discuss below. In this article, we will talk about herpes type 6 in adults, its symptoms and treatment methods, as well as about the possible diseases and complications that this herpes virus strain leads to.
GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE VIRUS
Some people call this herpes strain “herpes simplex virus type 6,” but this is not true. The herpes simplex virus has two types – this is the first and the second. And herpes simplex virus type 6 behaves a little differently in the body. The immune system, which suppresses the action of the herpes viral cells of the sixth type throughout the life of the carrier, takes this strain more seriously than the porous herpes virus. Therefore, with small failures in the body’s immune system, a person is more likely to encounter problems with recurrent HSV than with the sixth type of herpesvirus.
The herpes simplex virus type 6 is able to disguise itself as other diseases, thus, the clinical picture of the signs of this strain is very blurred. When diagnosed, it is often determined by the presence of antibodies to herpes type 7 in the blood due to the fact that they are very related and often work together.
Human herpesvirus type 6 has 2 types:
HHC-6A – in theory, it affects the development of multiple sclerosis.
HHV-6V – plays a role in provoking roseola in childhood and immunosuppressive diseases.
American scientists discovered this strain back in 1986, two years later they found a connection between the virus and baby roseola. Then, in 2012, the virus was split into two types. It was revealed that the herpesvirus type 6 in adults affects diseases of the nervous system – this is HHV-6A. And in children, HHV-6B causes roseola, it is widespread and most people associate type 6 HHV with this disease.
The herpes virus is one of the most aggressive viruses in the way it searches for a carrier and one of the most tenacious. The virus is transmitted in three ways:
through saliva – this is the most frequent penetration of the virus into a new organism, usually herpes type 6 is transmitted from mother to child;
through blood – the virus can be transmitted both through cuts and through blood transfusion from an infected person to a healthy person;
during childbirth – we are talking specifically about childbirth, and not about transmission through the placenta, infection occurs when the child passes through the birth canal.
Infection with herpesvirus type 6 occurs in 90% of cases in childhood from six months to two years. Up to six months of age in a baby, if he has not been infected through the birth canal, there are class G immunoglobulins transmitted from maternal immunity. After the formation of its own immune system, the child is susceptible to infection. The older he gets, the less the risk of infection.
SYMPTOMS AND SIGNS OF DISEASES CAUSED BY THE VIRUS
Consider type 6 herpes in adults and the symptoms of diseases that it causes in the older age group. In detail about the course of the virus in a child, we wrote in the article – herpes type 6 in children.
Infectious mononucleosis, caused not by the Epstein-Barr virus, but by herpes type 6, the symptoms are the same as in symptomatic exacerbations of mononucleosis:
redness of the throat;
joint pain and throat pain;
swollen lymph nodes.
When herpesvirus type 6 manifests itself as chronic fatigue syndrome, the symptoms may be as follows:
in the morning there is weakness and no rash;
manifestation of unreasonable aggression;
inability to control oneself;
inflammation of the lymph nodes;
Mononucleosis and CFS are the most closely related diseases with herpes simplex virus type 6 in adults. The rest of the diseases will be given in complications, they have their own symptoms.
The analysis for herpes type 6 is most often carried out in two ways:
PCR (polymerase chain reaction) – detects the DNA of the virus;
ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) is a very accurate method, it will also identify DNA and indicate a primary infection or a recurrent form.
Diagnosis for herpes simplex virus type 6 is not always necessary, even when symptoms are present. Usually confirmation by laboratory methods is necessary in controversial situations, when there is uncertainty in the choice of antiviral drugs by the attending physician or in case of impossibility to diagnose the causes of enlarged lymph nodes. And also at times when the patient is in serious condition.
If you have already been tested for the herpes simplex virus type 6 and want to know the decryption, there are four results:
Immunoglobulins of class M and G are negative (IgM -, IgG -) – this indicates that there is no immune response and antibodies to the virus, the patient is at risk of primary infection.
Immunoglobulins of class M are negative, and G are positive (IgM -, IgG +) – this indicates the presence of immunity to the virus. The risk of relapse depends on the state of the immune system.
Immunoglobulins of class M are positive, and G are negative (IgM +, IgG -) – means that the patient has a primary infection. Treatment is urgently needed.
Immunoglobulins of class M and G are positive (IgM +, IgG +) – Relapse of the disease, but there is an immune response, it is necessary to start treatment.
In children, if symptoms of baby roseola are present, it is also worth undergoing laboratory diagnostics, despite the fact that, perhaps, while the results are ready, the child may already recover, it is necessary to confirm the diagnosis. Baby roseola can be confused with many diseases and if it is not baby roseola, tests will help a lot.
If there are no complications yet and suppression of the virus in the body is necessary, a comprehensive approach is used to treat type 6 herpes, aimed at combating the symptoms and the virus, as well as stimulating the immune system. There are five groups of drugs for the treatment of herpes simplex virus type 6:
Antiviral – Foscarnet and Ganciclovir should be distinguished from the means that fight viruses. Acyclovir and its analogues have not shown adequate efficacy in the treatment of herpesvirus type 6.
Immunomodulators – to maintain and raise the body’s defense mechanisms, you should pay attention to drugs such as Viferon, Neovir and Kipferon.
Vitamin therapy – for additional stimulation of the immune system, vitamin complexes are often prescribed with the content of vitamins of groups A, E and C.
Antipyretic – this is for symptomatic treatment, with an exacerbation of type 6 herpes, as we found above, a high temperature is characteristic and it must be normalized.
Immunoglobulins – from this group of drugs, Likopid, Amiksin and Gerpimun 6 are often prescribed against herpesvirus type 6.
Do not forget that the appointment of a combination of medicines must be entrusted only to your doctor. During pregnancy, it is worth taking this even more seriously, since most of the drugs described above are not recommended for women while carrying a child.
All diseases provoked by HHV-6 are complications. Even CFS and baby roseola. But consider the most serious diseases that can develop due to activation or primary infection with HHV-6:
severe roseola for children;
diseases associated with a violation of the central nervous system;
These diseases can occur for other reasons, and it is impossible to say for sure that this is due to HHF-6 type. But scientific medicine has found patterns in the presence of a recurrence of herpes of this strain with the course of the above diseases. The problem is that it is possible that these diseases are causing the recurrence of HHF-6, and not vice versa.