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Psychiatry Res. 2014 May 15;216(2):192-7. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2013.12.035. Epub 2013 Dec 31.

High prevalence of Human Herpesvirus 8 in schizophrenic patients.

Author information

1
Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Farhat Hached University Hospital, Ibn El Jazzar Street, Sousse 4000, Tunisia; Research Unit (UR02SP13), Farhat Hached University Hospital, Ibn El Jazzar Street, Sousse 4000, Tunisia.
2
Department of Psychiatry, Farhat Hached University Hospital, Ibn El Jazzar Street, Sousse 4000, Tunisia. Electronic address: yousri.elkissi@rns.tn.
3
Department of Psychiatry, Farhat Hached University Hospital, Ibn El Jazzar Street, Sousse 4000, Tunisia.

Abstract

Many studies have reported an association between Herpes family viruses and an increased risk of schizophrenia, but the role of Human Herpesvirus 8 (HHV8) has never been investigated. This study aimed to assess HHV8 prevalence in schizophrenic patients as well as the possible association between HHV8 infection and schizophrenia clinical features. We consecutively enrolled 108 patients meeting fourth edition of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) criteria of schizophrenia and 108 age and sex matched controls. Data about a number of demographic characteristics and potential HHV8 risk factors of infection were collected. Standardized psychopathology measures, disease severity and functioning level were obtained using Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS), Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS), Scale for the Assessment of Negative Symptoms (SANS), Scale for the Assessment of Positive Symptoms (SAPS), Clinical Global Impressions (CGI) and Global Assessment of functioning (GAF). The presence of anti-HHV8 antibodies was analyzed using an indirect immunofluorescence assay. A higher prevalence of HHV8 infection in schizophrenic patients than in controls was found. Marital status, having children, sexual behavior and risk factors of blood transmission were not associated with HHV8 prevalence. However, among schizophrenic patients, HHV8 prevalence was statically associated with positive symptoms. To our knowledge, this would be the first report of a possible role of HHV8 in the pathogenesis of schizophrenia. To prove this hypothesis, further investigation of HHV8 in schizophrenia with larger samples is needed.

KEYWORDS:

Epidemiology; Human Herpesvirus 8; Positive symptoms; Schizophrenia

PMID:
24560611
DOI:
10.1016/j.psychres.2013.12.035
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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