HHV6 Rapid Culture Assay Available

The Wisconsin Viral Research Group is again offering their diagnostic
testing for HHV6 infection.  This test is considered the Gold Standard in
laboratory testing for HHV6 and the rapid culture testing used by The
Wisconsin Viral Research Group; led by Drs. Konstance Knox and Daniel
Carrigan, has been well validated in peer-reviewed published studies
(Clinical Infectious Diseases, Vol. 31, 2000, Transplantation, Vol. 69,
Unlike the testing being used at other laboratories, the rapid culture assay
has several years of utility as a medical diagnostic test and the insurance
reimbursement for patients is a rate that averages 75%.  Why should a
patient with ME/CFIDS be tested for HHV6?  The most basic answer to this
is to determine if they have an active and ongoing HHV6 infection so that it
may explain many of the symptoms they have been experiencing.  The
results also may justify a trial of an antiviral drug once the physician has a
well-documented reason for considering this option for the patient.  Some
antivirals are able to suppress HHV6.  If this can be accomplished,
surveillance testing at time intervals can be done to see if another
reactivation has occurred.  
HHV6 viruses can induce high levels of proinflammatory cytokines as it
frequently infects the spinal cord and the brain.  In past testing, about 50%
of those with the second CDC criteria had active infections while, going by
the less diluted and more stringent first CDC criteria (1988), over 70% were
positive.  Natural killer (NK) cell function has already been established to
be decreased in those with ME/CFIDS and HHV6 has the ability to infect
and destroy all types of lymphocytes including NK cells.
The work of the Wisconsin Viral Research Group can be found at
http://www.wisconsinlab.com/.  Physicians will find many of their questions
are already answered on the website and will have the opportunity to ask
any further questions they may have.

The National CFIDS Foundation * 103 Aletha Rd, Needham Ma 02492 * (781) 449-3535 Fax (781) 449-8606