Vol. 18 No 3 | Spring 2016
Women's Health -> Journal Club
Journal Club: HHV-6A virus and infertility
Dr Brett Daniels

This article is 8 years old and may no longer reflect current clinical practice.

Had time to read the latest journals? Catch up on some recent research by reading these mini-reviews by Dr Brett Daniels.


Human herpes virus (HHV)-6A was first discovered in 1986 and has been implicated in conditions such as liver disease, pneumonitis, myocarditis and multiple sclerosis. HHV-6A has also been identified in the genital tract and this study sought to determine if there were differences in the distribution of HHV-6A in fertile and infertile women. The study included 30 women with unexplained primary infertility, and compared them to 30 women with at least one previous successful pregnancy. There were no significant differences between the two groups in age, duration of menstrual cycle, and hormones, including FSH, LH and progesterone. Biological samples were taken at the same day of the menstrual cycle and both groups were analysed for the presence of HHV-6A in endometrial biopsies and in peripheral blood. The results showed that while the percentages of women with HHV-6A in peripheral blood cells were similar in infertile (27 per cent) and fertile (28 per cent) women, 43 per cent of women in the infertile group had HHV-6A DNA in their endometrial biopsies compared to no women in the fertile group. While this is a small study, this result is striking and is sure to be the focus of future research. 1


  1. Marci R, Gentili V, Bortolotti D, et al. Presence of HHV-6A in endometrial epithelial cells from women with primary unexplained infertility. PLoS ONE. 2016;11(7):e0158304. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0158304.

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