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Demographic and immune correlates of human herpesvirus 8 seropositivity in Malawi, Africa


BACKGROUND: In the USA, human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8) is associated with Kaposi’s sarcoma (KS) and HIV infection. We examined HHV-8 seroprevalence in a Malawian cohort, and assessed its relationship with HIV, KS, demographic characteristics, and immune findings.

METHODS: In 1997 and 1998, blood samples were obtained from 272 hospitalized Malawian patients, for whom demographic information was obtained, and 24 healthy volunteers without demographic data. We used enzyme immunoassays to assess seroprevalence and antibody titers to peptide antigens derived from HHV. Ā Seroprevalence rates increase in childhood, and, most steeply in adolescence. Titers are higher in seropositive males than in sero-positive females. The immune effects of HHV-8 in healthy adults are consistent with chronic inhibition of type 1 cytotoxic T-cell responsiveness, independent of HIV status.

DeSantis SM, Pau CP, Archibald LK, Nwanyanwu OC, Kazembe PN, Dobbie H, Jarvis WR, Jason J

Int. J. Infect. Dis. 2002 Dec;6(4):266-71

PMID: 12718819