Human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) infection is common after transplantation; HHV-6 is known to interact with other viruses and induce immunosuppression. Whether HHV-6 plays a role in the occurrence of cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection after transplantation was investigated. In a cohort of 247 liver transplant recipients, HHV-6 seroconversion was identified as a significant risk factor for development of symptomatic CMV infection (P < .001), including CMV organ involvement (P < .001), even in the presence of the other significant risk factors: D+/R- CMV serologic status (P < .001) or use of OKT3 after transplantation (P = .002). Subgroup analysis indicated that HHV- 6 seroconversion was significantly associated with symptomatic CMV infection in the D+/R+ but not in the D+/R- CMV serologic group (P < .001 and P = .11, respectively). These results indicate that HHV-6 seroconversion is a marker for CMV disease after transplantation and suggest that additional studies using more sensitive diagnostic techniques are warranted to determine the relationship between HHV-6 and CMV infection after transplantation.
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