Journal Article

Seroprevalence of Human Herpesvirus 8 Infection in Northern Thailand

Nora Chen, Kenrad E. Nelson, Frank J. Jenkins, Vinai Suriyanon, Ann Duerr, Caroline Costello, Valerie Robison and Lisa P. Jacobson

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 39, issue 7, pages 1052-1058
Published in print October 2004 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online October 2004 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI:
Seroprevalence of Human Herpesvirus 8 Infection in Northern Thailand

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Background. Human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8) is associated with Kaposi sarcoma (KS) in patients with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) and KS, classical KS, or endemic KS. Because human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infections and HIV/AIDS are common in Thailand but KS is very rare (only 0.2% of reported patients with AIDS in Thailand had KS), we determined the HHV-8 seroprevalence among populations who were HIV positive or at risk of HIV infection.

Methods. A total of 992 persons from 2 populations underwent testing for lytic antibodies to HHV-8 using an immunofluorescence assay involving a BCBL-1 cell line at serum dilutions of 1:50 and 1:100. Serum specimens with positive results were titered to end points. Subjects included ∼400 married couples in which the husband was HIV positive and the wife was HIV positive (200 couples) or HIV negative (200 couples). In addition, 200 HIV-negative men from a sexually transmitted diseases (STD) clinic were studied.

Results. The antibody prevalence was 24.2% in the total population. The prevalence was higher among HIV-negative men (13.0%) but was similar among HIV-positive women (27.9%) and HIV-negative women (23.8%). The HHV-8 seroprevalence among wives whose husbands were HIV-1 positive did not differ according to their husband's HHV-8 status. There was no association between HHV-8 seroprevalence and reported sexual behavior or STD history.

Conclusion. Despite the rarity of KS among patients with AIDS in Thailand, HHV-8 infections are common and do not appear to be frequently transmitted sexually in these populations.

Journal Article.  3409 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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