Human Herpesvirus 6 by PCR

Human herpesvirus 6 PCR, HHV-6, HHV6, Roseola, Herpesvirus-6 Human DNA DetectR , ARUP #60071, EPIC: LAB5913, SOFT: XHHVP

Specimen Collection Criteria

Collect (preferred specimen): One Lavender-top EDTA tube.
Also acceptable: One Gold-top SST tube, one plain Red-top tube, or Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF) in a sterile collection container.

Physician Office/Drawsite Specimen Preparation

Centrifuge to separate serum or plasma from cells. Transfer serum or plasma to a plastic transport tube and refrigerate (2-8°C or 36-46°F). Maintain CSF refrigerated prior to transport.

Preparation for Courier Transport

Transport: 1.0 mL serum, plasma, or CSF, refrigerated (2-8°C or 36-46°F). (Min: 0.5 mL)

Rejection Criteria

  • Specimens not collected and processed as indicated.


Frozen: 2 months


Tuesday - Saturday.
Results available in 2-5 days.

Reference Range

Reportable range for this assay is 1,000-999,000 HHV6 DNA copies/mL (3.0-6.0 log copies/mL).

Test Methodology

Quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR).


By report.

Clinical Utility

This assay aids in the diagnosis of roseola infantum (infection subitum) and other HHV-6 infections.

Clinical Disease

HHV-6 is the causative agent of roseola. Roseola is characterized by the abrupt onset of a high fever which is followed in 2-4 days by erthematous maculopapular rash that lasts for 1-2 days. Roseola lesions are macular or papular and never become vesicular like the lesions associated with VZV or HSV. Lesions typically appear on the neck and back and then spread to the abdomen and thighs. The syndrome is self-limiting but convulsions associated with high fever can cause permanent neurologic injury. Atypical roseola can occur in the absence of rash. (1)


  1. Locatelli G., Santoro F., Veglia F., Gobbi A., Lusso P and Malnati MS. 2000. Real-time quantitative PCR for human herpesvirus-6 DNA. J. Clin.Microbiology. 38: 4042-4048.

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