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Detection of DNA of lymphotropic herpesviruses in plasma of human immunodeficiency virus-infected patients: frequency and clinical significance.

ABSTRACT: The frequency and clinical significance of detection of DNA of cytomegalovirus (CMV), Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6), HHV-7, and HHV-8 in plasma were investigated by PCR. The plasma was obtained from 120 selected human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected patients, of whom 75 had AIDS-related manifestations, 32 had primary HIV infection (PHI), and 13 had asymptomatic infections. Nested PCR analysis revealed that none of the lymphotropic herpesviruses tested were found in patients with PHI, in asymptomatic HIV-positive individuals, or in HIV-negative controls. By contrast, DNA of one or more of the viruses was found in 42 (56%) of 75 patients with AIDS-related manifestations, including CMV disease (CMV-D) or AIDS-related tumors. The presence of CMV DNA in plasma was significantly associated with CMV-D (P < 0.001). By contrast, EBV detection was not significantly associated with AIDS-related lymphomas (P = 0.31). Interestingly, the presence of HHV-8 DNA in plasma was significantly associated with Kaposi's sarcoma (KS) disease (P < 0.001) and with the clinical status of KS patients (P < 0.001). CMV (primarily), EBV, and HHV-8 were the viruses most commonly reactivated in the context of severe immunosuppression (P < 0.05). In contrast, HHV-6 and HHV-7 infections were infrequent at any stage of disease. In conclusion, plasma PCR was confirmed to be useful in the diagnosis of CMV-D but not in that of tumors or other conditions possibly associated with EBV, HHV-6, and HHV-7. Our findings support the hypothesis of a direct involvement of HHV-8 replication in KS pathogenesis, thus emphasizing the usefulness of sensitive and specific diagnostic tests to monitor HHV-8 infection.

SUBMITTER: Broccolo F 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC130108 | BioStudies | 2002-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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