Ninety cases of malignant lymphoma and 56 cases of reactive lymphadenopathy were studied using Southern blot analysis and the polymerase chain reaction to identify human herpes virus-6 (HHV-6) DNA. This was detected in cases of lymphoid malignancy at a rate which ranged from 50.0% to 68.8%. There were no differences in rates for different types of lymphoid malignancies. Herpes virus-6 DNA was detected by PCR in lymphoid malignancies less frequently than in reactive lymphadenopathies. It was not detected in lymphoid malignancies using Southern blotting. These results suggest that HHV-6 DNA was not related to lymphoid malignancy and was only a latent infection of non-neoplastic cells in tumour tissue.
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