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Approved Research

Evolution and consequence of endogenous HHV-6

Principal Investigator: Dr Nicholas Parrish
Approved Research ID: 53589
Approval date: January 27th 2021

Lay summary

Human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) infects most people during childhood, usually causing only mild symptoms. However, about 1% of people are born with the HHV-6 genome present within their genome, included in the end part of one of their 46 chromosomes. Little is known about how and when HHV-6 genomes got into human genomes. In addition, we do not know if people whose genome contains HHV-6 are at increased risk of medical conditions. We will use genetic and phenotypic data collected by UK Biobank to address these questions. We anticipate that this study will take 36 months and will be updated as more whole genome sequencing data becomes available. If we find a strong association with a medical condition, it may be possible to screen for those whose genomes contain HHV-6 using existing non-invasive tests.