Virology, Nebraska Center for


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Infectious Agents and Cancer (2017) 12: 32 (6 pages). DOI: 10.1186/s13027-017-0142-9.


Copyright 2017, the authors. Open access, Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license.


Background: Little information on the prevalence of Kaposi’s sarcoma associated herpesvirus (KSHV) among HIV-negative individuals is available from Asia.

Methods: In the present study, we report findings from a new survey of KSHV in 983 HIV-negative male migrants from Shanghai and their combination with previous similar surveys of 600 female migrants, 600 female sex-workers (FSW), 1336 sexually transmitted infection (STI) clinic male patients, 439 intravenous drug-users (IVDU), and 226 men having sex with men (MSM) from China. KSHV-specific antibodies against latent and lytic antigens were assessed using Sf9 and BC3 monoclonal immunofluorescence assay. Age-adjusted prevalence ratios (PR) and 95% confidence interval (95% CI) for KSHV-positivity were estimated using Poisson regression.

Results: In total, 4184 HIV-negative participants were included. KSHV prevalence ranged from 9.8% (95% CI: 7.9%-11.7%) in male migrants to 32.3% (95% CI: 24.1%-34.1%) in MSM. IVDU show intermediate level (17.5%, 95%CI: 14.1%-21.4%). KSHV was associated with syphilis (PR = 2.03, 95% CI: 1.38-2.98) in MSM but not in other groups. An association with human herpes virus 2 was also found among MSM (PR = 1. 83, 95%: 1.22-2.75) but not in migrant workers or FSW.

Conclusions: KSHV prevalence in HIV-negative heterosexuals, FSW, and STI male patients from China is approximately 10%, but 2- and 3-fold higher in IVDU and MSM, respectively. Associations of KSHV with STIs among MSM only suggest that sexual transmission of the virus is important in MSM but not in heterosexuals.