The prevalence, the level and the avidity of human herpesvirus-6 (HHV-6) specific IgG were examined in pregnant women and age-matched female blood donors. The study group consisted of 180 women (age 14-45); 60 women with normal pregnancy, 60 pregnant women with fetuses suspected of having any viral infection and 60 healthy blood donors with no history of pregnancy. Plasma or serum samples were tested for HHV-6 IgG antibodies by an immunofluorescence assay. Ninety-eight percent of blood donors and 97% of 120 pregnant women had IgG antibodies to HHV-6. The rate of seropositivity in women with normal pregnancies and women with fetuses suspected to have viral infection was the same. Pregnant women (n=120) had significantly lower antibody titer than blood donors. No significant differences were found in the same respect between the two groups of pregnant women. Low avidity of IgG antibodies to HHV-6 was detected in 5% of pregnant women.
Yeast protein sequence-based homology search for glutathione (GSH) metabolic enzymes and GSH transporters demonstrated that Aspergillus nidulans has a robust GSH uptake and metabolic system with several paralogous genes. In wet laboratory experiments, two key genes of GSH metabolism, gcsA, and glrA, encoding γ-l-glutamyl-l-cysteine synthetase and glutathione reductase, respectively, were deleted. The gene gcsA was essential, and the ΔgcsA mutant required GSH supplementation at considerably higher concentration than the Saccharomyces cerevisiae gsh1 mutant (8–10 mmol l−1 vs. 0.5 μmol l−1). In addition to some functions known previously, both genes were important in the germination of conidiospores, and both gene deletion strains required the addition of extra GSH to reach wild-type germination rates in liquid cultures. Nevertheless, the supplementation of cultures with 10 mmol l−1 GSH was toxic for the control and ΔglrA strains especially during vegetative growth, which should be considered in future development of high GSH-producer fungal strains. Importantly, the ΔglrA strain was characterized by increased sensitivity toward a wide spectrum of osmotic, cell wall integrity and antimycotic stress conditions in addition to previously reported temperature and oxidative stress sensitivities. These novel phenotypes underline the distinguished functions of GSH and GSH metabolic enzymes in the stress responses of fungi.