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Strain variability among Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (human herpesvirus 8) genomes: evidence that a large cohort of United States AIDS patients may have been infected by a single common isolate.

By J C Zong, C Metroka, M S Reitz, J Nicholas and G S Hayward


Previous analysis of the majority of Kaposi's sarcoma (KS) tumors, in both AIDS and non-AIDS populations, has revealed the consistent presence of two small subsegments (open reading frame 25/26 [ORF25/26] and ORF75) of a novel human gamma class herpesvirus genome referred to as KSHV or HHV-8. We have carried out DNA sequence comparisons with DNAs encompassing a total of 2,500 bp each over three separate PCR-amplified fragments from KS lesions and body cavity-based lymphoma (BCBL) samples from 12 distinct patients, including four African and two classical or endemic non-AIDS KS samples. The results revealed differences at 37 of 2,500 nucleotide positions (i.e., 1.5% overall variation). However, the 12 HHV-8 genomes examined fell into three distinct but very narrow subgroupings (A, B, and C strains). All A strain isolates differed from B strain isolates at 16 positions, but of the eight U.S. samples tested, six were A strains, and these differed at no more than two positions among them. Similarly, three of the four African samples were B strains, which differed from each other at only one position. The two C strain genomes also displayed only one nucleotide variation, but they differed from all A strains at 26 positions and from all B strains at 20 positions. One C strain genome was present in all six independent lesions from an AIDS KS patient with disseminated disease, and the other represented a mosaic A/C recombinant genome from the HBL6 cell line derived from a BCBL tumor. Evaluation of previous data suggests that B and C strains may predominate in Africa and that A strains predominate in classical Mediterranean samples. Although both B and C strains are represented in U.S. AIDS patients, the majority (70 to 80%) of samples from the mid-East Coast region at least appear to be virtually identical, supporting the concept that they may all derive from the spread during the AIDS epidemic of a single recently transmitted infectious agent

Topics: Research Article
Year: 1997
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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