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J Infect Dis. 1996 Mar;173(3):542-9.

Human herpesvirus 8 is present in the lymphoid system of healthy persons and can reactivate in the course of AIDS.

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  • 1Institute of Microbiology, University of Ferrara, Italy.


In this study the prevalence of human herpesvirus (HHV) 8 DNA was determined in biopsies from persons with lymphoproliferative disorders and in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) from human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-seronegative and HIV-infected persons. The results show that HHV-8 is present in 10% of biopsies from HIV-seronegative persons: HHV-8 is detected with similar prevalence values in HIV-infected patients with lymphoproliferative diseases, but the virus load is higher. HHV-8 was also found in PBMC. The presence of monoclonal Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) genomes in malignant lymphoproliferations was only infrequently associated with HHV-8 infection. Therefore, HHV-8 is fairly common in the population, and the lymphoid system could represent a reservoir of latently infected cells from which the virus may reactivate in conditions of immunodepression; furthermore, HHV-8 and EBV do not seem to act in conjunction in lymphomagenesis.

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