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Beaumont Laboratory

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.


Specimen Stability for Testing:

Room Temperature (20-26°C or 68-78.8°F): 24 hours
Refrigerated (2-8°C or 36-46°F): 5 days
Frozen (-20°C/-4°F or below): 3 months

Specimen Storage in Department Prior to Disposal:

Specimen retention time is determined by the policy of the reference laboratory. Contact the Sendout Laboratory with any questions.


Sent to ARUP Laboratories, Salt Lake City, UT.


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)


HHV-6 infections are common and the virus has been found throughout the world. HHV-6 infections can occur in all age groups but they are usually acquired before three years of age. HHV-6 is the causative agent of roseola in children. Roseola is a common infection of infancy and the peak incidence of roseola occurs between the ages of 6 and 18 months. Infants less than 6 months are thought to be protected by maternal antibodies. Adults who become infected are often only mildly symptomatic. (1)

Incubation Period

5-15 days. (1)


Transmission of HHV-6 is poorly understood. It is thought that the virus is transmitted after contact with oral secretions. (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.

CPT Code


Test Codes


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This directory currently reflects information only for specimens collected and/or processed at the Farmington Hills, Grosse Pointe, Royal Oak, and Troy campuses.