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Keywords:

  • Human herpesvirus 6;
  • human herpesvirus 7;
  • human herpesvirus 8;
  • Kaposi's sarcoma;
  • Roseola infantum

Human herpesviruses (HHV) 6 and 7 are ubiquitous infections that reactivate commonly in transplant recipients. However, clinical diseases due to these viruses are reported only in 1% of solid organ transplant recipients. Fever, rash and bone marrow suppression are the most common manifestations, but symptoms of tissue invasive disease may be observed. Treatment of HHV-6 and HHV-7 disease includes antiviral therapy and cautious reduction in immunosuppression. HHV-8 is an oncogenic gamma-herpesvirus that causes Kaposi's sarcoma, Castleman's disease and primary effusion lymphomas in transplant recipients. Nonmalignant diseases such as bone marrow suppression and multiorgan failure have also been associated with HHV-8. Reduction in immunosuppression is the first line treatment of HHV-8 infection. Other alternatives for treatment, especially for HHV-8 diseases not responsive to immuno-minimization strategies, are surgery and chemotherapy. Sirolimus has been shown to be a beneficial component for the treatment of Kaposi's sarcoma and the role of antivirals for HHV-8 infection is being investigated.