After conducting an prospective randomized study with samples from endometrial tissue in women with unexplained infertility, it was found that HHV-6A DNA was found in 43% of endometrial biopsies, compared to 0% in women who had had at least one successful pregnancy.
HHV-6 is a virus that has been profiled as the etiological agent of roseola and febrile seizures in infants and implicated in conditions like liver disease, pneumonitis, myocarditis, multiple sclerosis and various more diseases. It infects mains T-cells and can infect and replicate in the human genital tract. The virus seems to activity natural killer cells that may produce cytokines and make the uterus inhospitable.
Viral infection has been implicated in infertility before (i.e. herpesvirus in male infertility), but no viral infection has been associated with women’s infertility before. This study indicated that HHV-6A presence “might be an important factor in female primary unexplained infertility.”
- Gianna Nino-Tapias ('18)
- Marci, R. et al. Presence of HHV-6A in Endometrial Epithelial Cells from Women with Primary Unexplained Infertility. PLoS ONE. 1-14 (2016)