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HHV 8 Seroprevalence in Native Americans | CDC EID

EID Journal Home > Volume 16, Number 6–June 2010

Volume 16, Number 6–June 2010
Variations in Human Herpesvirus Type 8 Seroprevalence in Native Americans, South America
Vanda A.U.F. Souza, Francisco M. Salzano, Maria Luiza Petzl-Erler, Maria Claudia Nascimento, Philippe Mayaud, Jaila Dias Borges, and Claudio S. Pannuti
Author affiliations: Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil (V.A.U.F. Souza, C.S. Pannuti, M.C. Nascimento, J.D. Borges); Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brazil (F.M. Salzano); Universidade Federal do Paraná, Curitiba, Brazil (M.L. Petzl-Erler); and London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK (M.C. Nascimento, P. Mayaud)

Suggested citation for this article

To determine the epidemiology of human herpesvirus type 8 (HHV-8) among non-Amazonian native populations, we conducted a cross-sectional study in Brazil, Bolivia, and Paraquay. Our data show striking ethnic and geographic variations in the distribution of HHV-8 seroprevalences in Amazonian (77%) and non-Amazonian native populations (range 0%–83%).
Human herpesvirus type 8 (HHV-8) is the etiologic agent of all forms of Kaposi sarcoma, primary effusion lymphoma, and certain lymphoproliferative diseases. HHV-8 seroprevalence is low (<5%) in northern Europe and North America, where HIV-seropositive homosexual men represent the highest risk group. HHV-8 infection is endemic in eastern and central Africa, with seroprevalences >50% in some adult populations (1). However, the highest HHV-8 seroprevalences worldwide (>80% in adults) have been reported in Native Americans from the Amazon region of Brazil (2–5), French Guiana (6), and Ecuador (7). In HHV-8–endemic areas in Africa and the Amazon, the sharp and linear increases of HHV-8 seroprevalence in children before puberty, with only modest increases later in life (3,5), and the association of HHV-8 seropositivity in children with having at least 1 first-degree relative who is seropositive (8) suggest nonsexual transmission of HHV-8 within families, probably through saliva (9). Indeed, this hypothesis is supported by the finding that, in Native Americans, nearly one fourth of HHV-8–seropositive persons, and <40% of children, shed HHV-8 DNA in their saliva (5). A particular feature of the epidemiology of HHV-8 in Native Americans is that infection is caused by a recently discovered distinct and unique HHV-8 strain (subtype E) (2,5,7). Previous research has also shown that HHV-8 seroprevalence is 10-fold lower in nonnative populations living in similar conditions in adjacent remote geographic areas, which suggests that HHV-8 infection in Native Americans may be associated with specific risk factors or behaviors but not with environmental factors (5). Little is known, however, of the epidemiology of HHV-8 among other Native American populations. We conducted a cross-sectional study to investigate whether HHV-8 was also endemic among Native American populations living outside Amazonia.

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HHV 8 Seroprevalence in Native Americans | CDC EID

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