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HHV8 in renal transplant recipients


Human herpevirus 8 (HHV8) DNA sequences have been found in lesions from patients with Kaposi's sarcoma (KS) in several forms including immunosuppressed transplant patients. We wanted to study the transmission of HHV8 in kidney transplant recipients and to assess the risk of development of KS related to the viral infection in this group of patients. We tested sera of 120 renal transplant recipients with serological assay for antibodies to HHV8 antigens before transplantation and then we tested sera of 66 patients of the same group after transplantation. Antibodies were detectable in 27.5 % of the patients before transplantation. In the seropositive population 15.1 % developed KS and in the negative group 1.1 %. Analysing 66 posttransplant sera we noticed that 24 % of the seronegative patients became positive after transplantation. Our data suggest that being positive for HHV8 before transplantation could be an important risk factor for the development of KS.

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Diociaiuti, A., Nanni, G., Cattani, P. et al. HHV8 in renal transplant recipients. Transpl Int 13, S410–S412 (2000).

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  • Key words Human herpesvirus 8
  • Kaposi's sarcoma
  • Kidney transplant