Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Childhood virus infection linked to prolonged seizures with fever

One-third of febrile seizures associated with roseola virus

New research shows that human herpesviruses (HHV)-6B and HHV-7, commonly know as roseola virus), account for one third of febrile status epilepticus (FSE) cases. Results of the FEBSTAT prospective study now available in Epilepsia, a journal published by Wiley-Blackwell on behalf of the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE), suggest that HHV-6B may be involved in the development of epilepsy and further research is urgently needed.

FEBSTAT is a multi-center study of the consequences of FSE, designed to identify the factors that increase the risk of injury to the hippocampus, an area of the brain responsible for long-term memory and implicated in the development of temporal lobe epilepsy. The FEBSTAT study is funded by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

According to previous research, up to 5% of children under the age of five have febrile seizures, making it the most common type of seizure, with peak incidence at age 2. While brief or simple febrile seizures are most common, 5% - 8% of cases are prolonged and meet the criteria for status epilepticus (SE)—a critical condition where a persistent seizure lasts more than 30 minutes. Experts suggest that FSE accounts for 5% of FS; however, FSE accounts for 25% of all childhood SE and for more than 70% of SE cases that occur in the second year of life. FSE is associated with increased epilepsy risk, particularly temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE).

"One aim of the FEBSTAT study is to determine the frequency of HHV-6A, HHV-6B, and HHV-7 as a cause of FSE and whether infection with any of these herpesviruses increases the risk of brain injury and epilepsy," said lead author Dr. Leon Epstein a, pediatric neurologist at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago.

The team enrolled 199 children between the ages of 1 month and 5 years, who presented with FSE and received an assessment for herpesvirus infection within 72 hours of the episode. Viremia was detected using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) that identified the presence of HHV-6A, HHV-6B or HHV-7A DNA and RNA. In conjunction with PCR results, researchers used antibody titers to determine if the infection was a primary or reactivated herpesvirus.

Findings indicate that approximately one third of children with FSE had HHV-6 or HHV-7 viremia. HHV-6B viremia was detected in 32% of pediatric participants, with 38 and 16 children having primary and reactivated infection, respectively. Researchers found that 7% of children had HHV-7 viremia at baseline and 2 children had HHV-6/7 primary co-infection. There were no apparent differences in age, illness type, fever, seizure structures, or acute imagining abnormalities in children with or without one of the herpesviruses.

FEBSTAT researchers will continue to follow the 199 children involved in the study, expecting up to 40% of this pediatric population to develop TLE. The FEBSTAT study will determine whether there is an association between prolonged febrile seizures caused by HHV-6B viremia and the development of TLE. The current study adds to evidence from previous research by Donati et al. and by Fotheringham et al who detected HHV-6 in brain samples of patients with TLE.

"TLE could take 8 to 11 years to develop following an episode of FSE, so more time is needed before the role of HHV-6B is fully understood," concludes Dr. Epstein. "If the FEBSTAT study finds that FSE caused by HHV-6B leads to TLE, this insight would provide a basis for clinical trials of antiviral and anti-inflammatory therapies to prevent TLE."

This study is published in Epilepsia. Media wishing to receive a PDF of this article may contact

Full citation: "Human herpesvirus 6 and 7 in febrile status epilepticus: The FEBSTAT study." Leon G. Epstein, Shlomo Shinnar, Dale C. Hesdorffer, Douglas R. Nordli, Aaliyah Hamidullah, Emma K. T. Benn, John M. Pellock, L. Matthew Frank, Darrell V Lewis, Solomon L. Moshe, Ruth C. Shinnar, Shumei Sun and the FEBSTAT study team. Epilepsia; Published Online: June 14, 2012 (DOI: 10.1111/j.1528-1167.2012.03542.x).

URL upon publication:

Author contact: Media wishing to speak with Dr. Epstein may contact Julie Pesch with Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago at or at 312-227-4261.

Epilepsia is the leading, most authoritative source for current clinical and research results on all aspects of epilepsy. As the journal of the International League Against Epilepsy, subscribers every month will review scientific evidence and clinical methodology in: clinical neurology, neurophysiology, molecular biology, neuroimaging, neurochemistry, neurosurgery, pharmacology, neuroepidemiology, and therapeutic trials. For more information, please visit

The International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE) is the world's preeminent association of physicians and health professionals working toward a world where no person's life is limited by epilepsy. Since 1909 the ILAE has provided educational and research resources that are essential in understanding, diagnosing and treating persons with epilepsy. The ILAE supports health professionals, patients, and their care providers, governments, and the general public worldwide by advancing knowledge of epilepsy.

Wiley-Blackwell is the international scientific, technical, medical, and scholarly publishing business of John Wiley & Sons, with strengths in every major academic and professional field and partnerships with many of the world's leading societies. Wiley-Blackwell publishes nearly 1,500 peer-reviewed journals and 1,500+ new books annually in print and online, as well as databases, major reference works and laboratory protocols. For more information, please visit or our new online platform, Wiley Online Library (, one of the world's most extensive multidisciplinary collections of online resources, covering life, health, social and physical sciences, and humanities.

Dawn Peters | EurekAlert!
Further information:

Further reports about: Epilepsia Epilepsy FEBSTAT FSE HHV-6 HHV-6B HHV-7 ILAE Online Broker PCR TLE health professionals

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Diagnoses: When Are Several Opinions Better Than One?
19.07.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

nachricht High in calories and low in nutrients when adolescents share pictures of food online
07.04.2016 | University of Gothenburg

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>