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J Infect Dis. 2001 Jan 1;183(1):125-9. Epub 2000 Nov 30.

Distinct distribution of rare US genotypes of Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) in South Texas: implications for KSHV epidemiology.

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Department of Pediatrics, The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, San Antonio, Texas 78229-3900, USA.


Genotypes of Kaposi's sarcoma (KS)-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) from patients with KS in South Texas were examined. Open-reading frame (ORF)-K1 and ORF-K15 DNA segments from 16 KSHV isolates were amplified by polymerase chain reaction, and KSHV subtypes were assigned on the basis of sequence variations. K1 genotyping showed that 75% exhibited C subtype and 25% exhibited A subtype. K15 genotyping showed that 56% exhibited M form, of which 89% exhibited C3 K1 subtype and 44% exhibited P form. A unique isolate was found and was classified as C6 clade. All of the M KSHV isolates had been obtained from human immunodeficiency virus-negative classic KS patients >50 years of age, of whom 78% were Hispanic. Conversely, all KS patients with AIDS were <36 years of age and exhibited P form KSHV. These findings indicate that C3/M KSHV genotypes are more prevalent in South Texas (50%) than in other US regions (3%) and that M form KSHV likely existed in this region long before the AIDS epidemic.

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