Association of human herpesvirus-7 with the development of epilepsy

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Introduction.Virus-induced diseases of the central nervous system and the epilepsy in particular represent a significant burden to human health worldwide. A possible association between human herpesvirus-7 (HHV-7) positivity and drug-resistant epilepsy, especially hippocampal sclerosis has been suggested however no association between HHV-7 and epilepsy has been confirmed.
Aim. Find out if HHV-7 infection could be involved in developing epilepsy.
Methods. 53 patients with clinically confirmed diagnosis of epilepsy and 104 healthy controls were enrolled in the study. HHV-7 IgG class antibodies in blood plasma were detected using immunofluorescence assay, HHV-7 genomic sequences in whole blood (WB) and cell-free blood plasma DNA were detected using nested polymerase chain reaction (nPCR) with primers complementary to U10 gene. From HHV-7 positive patients’ peripheral blood mononuclear cells RNA was extracted, complementary DNA (cDNA) synthesized and U57 gene detected by nPCR. HHV-7 load was detected using Realquality RQ-HHV-7 kit. Statistical analysis was performed using GraphPad Prism software version 7.0 for Mac.
Results. In 44/53 (83.0%) patients’ and 85/104 (81.7%) controls’ plasma samples anti-HHV-7 IgG class antibodies were found. HHV-7 genomic sequence was detected in 40/53 (75.5%) patients with epilepsy and in 63/104 (60.6%) controls’ WB DNA. In cell-free plasma DNA viral genomic sequence was found in 7/40 (17.5%) epilepsy patients and in none of controls. Using RT-PCR, HHV-7 U57 gene expression was detected in 15/40 (37.5%) and 1/63 epileptic patients and controls, respectively. In 6/15 (40.0%) patient samples plasma viremia was found. The highest median HHV-7 load was detected in the WB DNA of epileptic patients with persistent viral infection in active phase comparing to latent phase [1141 (IQR: 285.12. 2534.4) and 285.12 (IQR: 167.81- 708.33) copies/106 cells, respectively].
Conclusion. These results show higher activity rate of HHV-7 in epileptic patients’ peripheral blood, thus indicating on HHV-7 possible involvement in the disease development.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages2
Publication statusPublished - 28 Apr 2019
Event7th European Congress of Virology (ECV) - Rotterdam, Netherlands
Duration: 28 Apr 20191 May 2019


Congress7th European Congress of Virology (ECV)
Abbreviated titleECV
Internet address

Field of Science*

  • 3.2 Clinical medicine
  • 3.3 Health sciences

Publication Type*

  • 3.4. Other publications in conference proceedings (including local)


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