Seroprevalence of human herpesvirus 8 infection in Northern Thailand

Nora Chen, Kenrad E. Nelson, Frank J. Jenkins, Vinai Suriyanon, Ann Duerr, Caroline Costello, Valerie Robison, Lisa P. Jacobson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Background. Human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8) is associated with Kaposi sarcoma (KS) in patients with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) and KS, classical KS, or endemic KS. Because human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infections and HIV/AIDS are common in Thailand but KS is very rare (only 0.2% of reported patients with AIDS in Thailand had KS), we determined the HHV-8 seroprevalence among populations who were HIV positive or at risk of HIV infection. Methods. A total of 992 persons from 2 populations underwent testing for lytic antibodies to HHV-8 using an immunofluorescence assay involving a BCBL-1 cell line at serum dilutions of 1:50 and 1:100. Serum specimens with positive results were titered to end points. Subjects included ∼400 married couples in which the husband was HIV positive and the wife was HIV positive (200 couples) or HIV negative (200 couples). In addition, 200 HIV-negative men from a sexually transmitted diseases (STD) clinic were studied. Results. The antibody prevalence was 24.2% in the total population. The prevalence was higher among HIV-negative men (13.0%) but was similar among HIV-positive women (27.9%) and HIV-negative women (23.8%). The HHV-8 seroprevalence among wives whose husbands were HIV-1 positive did not differ according to their husband's HHV-8 status. There was no association between HHV-8 seroprevalence and reported sexual behavior or STD history. Conclusion. Despite the rarity of KS among patients with AIDS in Thailand, HHV-8 infections are common and do not appear to be frequently transmitted sexually in these populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1052-1058
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Infectious Diseases
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 1 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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