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Human Herpesvirus 6

Alias: HHV-6, Roseola, Sixth Disease, Exanthem Subitum

Discipline: Virology

Test information: Human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) is the common collective name for human betaherpesvirus 6A (HHV-6A) and human betaherpesvirus 6B (HHV-6B). HHV-6B primary infection is the cause of the common childhood illness exanthema subitum (also known as roseola infantum or sixth disease), a febrile disease of early childhood. Although infection in adults is uncommon. HHV-6 reactivation is does occur in transplant recipients, which can cause several clinical manifestations such as encephalitis. Testing should be used in conjunction with patient history and clinical judgement. Additional laboratory testing for viral load and chromosomal integration can provide additional supporting information.

Availability: Referred to Severn Pathology North Bristol NHS Trust: Monday - Friday during routine hours: 08:45 - 17:15.

Turnaround Time: 3 Days upon receipt at Severn Pathology North Bristol NHS Trust

Related Tests: Human Herpesvirus 7

Specimen Type(s)
  • Cerebrospinal fluid;
  • EDTA Whole Blood;
Other Acceptable Specimen Type(s)
Specimen Container - Adult
  • Purple Top BD;
  • Sterile CE-marked Universal Container;
Specimen Container - Paediatric
  • Purple Top Microtainer BD;
  • Sterile CE-marked Universal Container;
  • HHV-6 DNA;
Part of a test profile?
Volume (min) of sample to be sent to laboratory
5 - 10mL
Patient Preparation, Sample Handling and Transport
  • Specimens should be transported to the laboratory as soon as possible.
  • Outside of normal hours samples should be refrigerated (2 °C to 8 °C).
Maximum add on time
Units and Reference Ranges / Interpretation
Results: Negative / Positive
UKAS number
UKAS accredited test?

If you have any queries about a test or results interpretation please contact us.

Last updated: 31-05-2023