KSHV After an Organ Transplant: Should We Screen?

  • A. -G. Marcelin
  • V. Calvez
  • E. Dussaix
Part of the Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology book series (CT MICROBIOLOGY, volume 312)


The incidence of Kaposi sarcoma (KS) related to Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV/HHV-8) after organ transplantation is 500–1,000 times greater than in the general population, and its occurrence is associated with immunosuppressive therapy. The reported incidence of posttransplant KS ranges from 0.5% to 5%, depending on the patient’s country of origin and the type of organ received, mainly after renal transplantation. Posttransplant KS is caused by two possible mechanisms: KSHV reactivation in patients who were infected before the graft and KSHV contamination from the infected organ’s donor to the recipient. KSHV reactivation appears to play a greater role in the risk of KS than incident infections. However, some studies, with findings based not only on serological data but also on molecular tracing of the viral infection, have shown that organ-related transmission of KSHV could be more common than previously thought and associated in some cases with severe KSHV-related disease. Precise estimates of KSHV seroprevalence in the organ donor and recipient populations in different countries are lacking. However, studies have reported seroprevalences among donors and recipients that are similar to those among the general population of the country considered. Many studies have suggested the potential utility of screening of KSHV antibodies among organ donors and recipients. However, to date the results of these studies have argued in favor of KSHV screening, even in low-KSHV infection prevalence countries, not to exclude the graft but to have the KSHV status information in order to have the opportunity to monitor, clinically and biologically, patients at risk for KSHV-related disease development. The detection of KSHV antibodies could be done in the days after the transplantation and the results transmitted to the physicians retrospectively. In conclusion, the question of screening donors and recipients for KSHV, even in low-KSHV infection prevalence countries, is still debated, and prospective studies are needed to evaluate the benefit of pre- and posttransplantation strategies.


Transplant Recipient Liver Transplant Recipient Castleman Disease KSHV Infection Latent Nuclear Antigen 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. -G. Marcelin
    • 1
  • V. Calvez
    • 1
  • E. Dussaix
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Virology, Pitié-Salpêtrière HospitalPierre et Marie Curie UniversityParisFrance
  2. 2.Department of Microbiology, Paul Brousse HospitalParis-Sud XI UniversityVillejuifFrance

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