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Nephrol Dial Transplant. 2005 Nov;20(11):2532-6. Epub 2005 Aug 22.

Increased seroprevalence of human herpes virus-8 in renal transplant recipients in Saudi Arabia.

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Department of Microbiology, King Faisal University, Dammam, Saudi Arabia.



Human herpes virus-8 (HHV-8) is a herpes virus that is always associated with Kaposi's sarcoma. Previous studies suggested a high rate of Kaposi's sarcoma in renal transplant patients in Saudi Arabia. The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence of HHV-8 in Saudi renal transplant recipients and healthy controls.


An immunofluorescence technique was used to detect antibodies to the latent nuclear antigen (LANA) of HHV-8 in renal transplant patients, members of a family affected with Kaposi sarcoma, as well as healthy controls.


A significantly higher HHV-8 seroprevalence was detected in renal transplant recipients from Saudi Arabia (27 out of 150; 18%) and in members of a family affected with Kaposi sarcoma (seven out of 10; 70%) relative to the seroprevalence in healthy controls (10 out of 577; 1.7%). Seropositivity for HHV-8 in these transplant patients was not significantly influenced by: the existence of relatives with kidney failure, the donors' country of origin, the recipients' home region within Saudi Arabia, the haemodialysis centre, the time that elapsed since the renal transplantation operation and the immunosuppressive regimen used.


The present results provide some explanation for the previously noted high incidence of Kaposi's sarcoma in Saudi transplant patients.

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