The cross-reaction of HHV6 antibody with that to the other herpesviruses was studied in 96 blood donors whose sera were tested for IgG antibody to human herpesvirus type 6 (HHV6), cytomegalovirus (CMV), Epstein–Barr virus (EBV), varicella zostervirus (VZV) and herpes simplex virus (HSV). No correlation was found between IgG antibody to HHV6 and that to any of the other herpesviruses in these individuals. Antibodies to HHV6 and CMV were measured in patients undergoing documented serological responses to HHV6. Eleven cases of primary HHV6 infection associated with roseola infantum in babies, 1 of whom suffered from gastroenteritis as well as pyrexia and rash, are reported. Three cases of HHV6 reactivation, 1 in a 3-year-old child and 2 in adults, 1 of whom simultaneously underwent a primary CMV infection are also reported. Our results suggest that indirect immunofluorescence is a specific way of measuring HHV6 antibody, that HHV6 IgG and IgM can be detected in the absence of antibody to CMV and that HHV6 IgM is present both in primary HHV6 infections and in reactivations.