The amounts of the DNAs of human herpesviruses-6 (HHV-6) and -7 (HHV-7) in saliva samples were monitored during the acute and convalescent phases of exanthem subitum (ES) to elucidate the kinetics of virus shedding after ES. A total of 247 saliva samples were collected from 17 children (5 males and 12 females: 8-31 months old at onset). The monitoring period ranged from 152 to 721 days after onset, and in 15 children it was longer than 1 year. Among the 17 cases, 16 were attributed to HHV-6B, while a single case was attributed to HHV-7. Detection rates and average amounts of HHV-6 DNA in saliva samples after ES attributed to HHV-6B were low in the acute phase, increased to the maximum in the convalescent phase at 3-7 months, and then decreased. In addition, to investigate the source of infection, saliva samples from the older siblings (age 3-9 years) and parents of ES patients and children with a history of ES were also examined. The detection rate of HHV-6 DNA in saliva samples from 3- to 9-year-old children was significantly higher than the rate in adult saliva samples. Taken together, these findings suggest that the saliva of children in the convalescent phase of ES might be a more likely source of HHV-6 infection than that of adults. J. Med. Virol. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.