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Brief Report: Low Rates of Herpesvirus Detection in Blood of Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Controls

Previous research indicates that infection, especially from viruses in the family Herpesviridae, may play a role in the etiology of some cases of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Using a case-control design and the polymerase chain reaction with site-specific primers, we screened newborn and childhood blood samples for the presence of eight human herpesviruses. Herpesvirus DNA was detected in 4 of 225 ASD individuals and 2 of 235 controls, with the most frequently detected virus being HHV-6B. Although this study does not detect a significant ASD-Herpesviridae association, it is limited by the use of site-specific primers. We suggest that new techniques using bioinformatics to search next-generation sequencing databases will be more revealing of possible ASD-virus associations.

Authors: Sweeten TL; Croen LA; Windham GC; Odell JD; Stubbs EG; Torres AR

J Autism Dev Disord. 2019 Jan;49(1):410-414.

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