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J Infect Dis. 2003 Sep 1;188(5):678-89. Epub 2003 Aug 22.

Multiple human herpesvirus-8 infection.

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Department of Oral Medicine, Eastman Institute for Oral Health Care Sciences, University College London, UK.


In Malawian patients with Kaposi sarcoma (KS) and their relatives, we investigated nucleotide-sequence variation in human herpesvirus-8 (HHV-8) subgenomic DNA, amplified from oral and blood samples by use of polymerase chain reaction. Twenty-four people had amplifiable HHV-8 DNA in >1 sample; 9 (38%) were seropositive for human immunodeficiency virus type 1, 21 (88%) were anti-HHV-8-seropositive, and 7 (29%) had KS. Sequence variation was sought in 3 loci of the HHV-8 genome: the internal repeat domain of open-reading frame (ORF) 73, the KS330 segment of ORF 26, and variable region 1 of ORF K1. Significant intraperson/intersample and intrasample sequence polymorphisms were observed in 14 people (60%). For 3 patients with KS, intraperson genotypic differences, arising from nucleotide sequence variations in ORFs 26 and K1, were found in blood and oral samples. For 2 other patients with KS and for 9 people without KS, intraperson genotypic and subgenotypic differences, originating predominantly from ORF K1, were found in oral samples; for the 2 patients with KS and for 4 individuals without KS, intrasample carriage of distinct ORF K1 sequences also were discernible. Our findings imply HHV-8 superinfection.

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