Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Ann Epidemiol. 2010 Dec;20(12):958-63. doi: 10.1016/j.annepidem.2010.07.098.

Geographic heterogeneity of prevalence of the human herpesvirus 8 in sub-Saharan Africa: clues about etiology.

Author information

  • 1Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.



Human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8, or Kaposi sarcoma [KS]-associated herpesvirus, KSHV) is a necessary but insufficient cause of KS, as KS develops in few HHV-8-infected persons. In sub-Saharan Africa, marked differences in the geographic distribution of HHV-8 and KS suggest that environmental cofactors influence HHV-8 transmission, control, and progression to KS. However, a direct comparison of HHV-8 prevalence estimates is complicated because studies used different serologic assays and analytic methods. We assessed HHV-8 seropositivity in several African countries with heterogeneous environments and varying KS incidence using a unified approach.


HHV-8 antibodies were measured among 3196 adults (aged 20+ years) and 2404 children (aged <20 years) from five studies in four sub-Saharan countries in Africa. Serum samples were tested by the same laboratory using K8.1 and orf73 enzyme immunoassays.


Children's HHV-8-seropositivity ranged from 18.1% in Kampala, Uganda, to 33.8% in North Mara, Tanzania, increasing steeply with age in all populations. Among adults, HHV-8-seropositivity ranged from 23.5% in Nigeria to 70.6% in rural West Nile, Uganda. It was higher in males and rural areas.


Our data indicate that geographical exposures, gender, age, and factors correlated with rural residence impact HHV-8 seropositivity in sub-Saharan Africa.

Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk