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Published in The Journal of Infectious Diseases 1998;178:1787–90 © 1998 by the Infectious Diseases Society of America. Used by permission.


The seroprevalence of human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8) among a group of Zambian women of reproductive age and among mother-child pairs in which either one of them has Kaposi’s sarcoma (KS) was determined. A cross-sectional group of 378 pregnant women was randomly recruited into the study, and 183 (48.4%) had HHV-8 antibodies. Among the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1–infected women, 51.1% were HHV-8–seropositive, whereas of HIV- 1–negative women, 47.3% were HHV-8–seropositive. In addition, 21 women index patients with KS and 5 young children index patients with KS were studied. All children with KS had mothers who were HHV-8–seropositive, while not all children whose mothers had KS were infected with HHV-8. Our study suggests that there is a high HHV-8 seroprevalence among Zambian women, and the rate is almost the same in HIV-1–positive and –negative women. This high seroprevalence may be a contributing factor toward the increased frequency of KS in this population.

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