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Herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) IgM IFA

Test Code: 65024
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Clinical and Procedure
Clinical Utility

Human Herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) infects nearly all humans, typically before the age of two, and establishes life-long latency.  For most of the population, adults will demonstrate antibodies and declining titers with age.  Immunocompromised patients however, may experience a primary infection or reactivation of a latent infection, leading to potentially serious complications. The detection of anti-HHV-6 IgM or a fourfold rise in anti-HHV-6 IgG supports a clinical diagnosis.


Human IgM antibodies to HHV-6 antigens are detected by indirect fluorescent antibody (IFA) assay. Diluted serum is incubated on a slide containing infected T-lymphoblasts. If specific HHV-6 antibodies are present, they remain bound, and are then labeled by an antibody conjugate and finally detected by fluorescence microscopy. The HHV-6 IgM and IgG IFA assays detect but do not distinguish antibodies directed against both HHV-6A and HHV-6B.

Turnaround Time

1-5 business days from receipt of specimen

Specimen Information
Specimen Type Test Code CPT Code NY Approved Volume Assay Range Special Instructions
serum 65024 86790 Yes

2 mL (min. 0.05 mL)

  • Collect 4-5 mL whole blood in red top tube.
  • Centrifuge and transfer 2 mL serum to sterile, screw top tube.
  • Ship frozen on dry ice Monday through Friday.

Qualitative (<1:20, ≥ 1:20).


Ship Monday through Friday. Friday shipments must be labeled for Saturday delivery. All specimens must be labeled with patient's name and collection date. A Viracor Eurofins test requisition form must accompany each specimen. Ship specimens FedEx Priority Overnight to: Viracor Eurofins, 18000 W 99th St. Ste, #10, Lenexa, KS 66219.

Causes for Rejection

Specimens beyond their acceptable length of time from collection as listed in the specimen handling, or specimen types other than those listed.


Specimens are approved for testing in New York only when indicated in the Specimen Information field above.

The CPT codes provided are based on Viracor Eurofins' interpretation of the American Medical Association's Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes and are provided for informational purposes only. CPT coding is the sole responsibility of the billing party. Questions regarding coding should be addressed to your local Medicare carrier. Viracor Eurofins assumes no responsibility for billing errors due to reliance on the CPT codes illustrated in this material.


Wang, F-Z and Pellet, P. E., HHV-6A, 6B, and 7: Immunobiology and host response. Human Herpesviruses: Biology, Therapy and Immunoprophylaxis. Arvin A, Campadelli-Fiume G, Mocarski E, et al., editors.  Cambridge:  Cambridge University Press, 2007. Ch. 48.

Pellett P. E., Sanchez-Martinez D., Dominguez G., et al. A strongly immunoreactive virion protein of human herpesvirus 6 variant B strain Z29: identification and characterization of the gene and mapping of a variant-specific monoclonal antibody reactive epitope. Virology. 1993;195(2):521–531. 

Fotheringham J, Akhyani N, Vortmeyer A, Donati D, Williams E, Oh U, Bishop M, Barrett J, Gea-Banacloche J, Jacobson S.  Detection of active human herpesvirus-6 infection in the brain: correlation with polymerase chain reaction detection in cerebrospinal fluid. 2007.  J Infect Dis Feb 1: 195(3):450-4.

Suga S, Yoshikawa T, Asano Y, Nakashima T, Yazaki T, Fukuda M, Kojima S, Matsuyama T, Ono Y, Oshima S. IgM neutralizing antibody responses to human herpesvirus-6 in patients with exanthem subitum or organ transplantation. 1992. Microbiol Immunol. 36(5):495-506.

King, A.M.Q., Adams, M.J., Carstens, E.B. and Lefkowitz, E.J.  Virus taxonomy: classification and nomenclature of viruses: Ninth Report of the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses. 2012. Ed: San Diego: Elsevier Academic Press.

Yao K, Gagnon S, Akhyani N, Williams E, Fotheringham J, Frohman E, Stuve O, Monson N, Racke MK, Jacobson S. Reactivation of human herpesvirus-6 in natalizumab treated multiple sclerosis patients. PLoS One. 2008. Apr 30;3(4)

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