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Published in The Journal of Infectious Diseases 2003;188:174–5. Copyright © 2003 by the Infectious Diseases Society of America. Used by permission.


The letter by Sarmati et al. [1] presents data indicating that they were unable to find a significant correlation between human herpesvirus (HHV)–8 seropositivity and a history of spontaneous abortion in a group of 245 human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) type 1–seronegative women but that they did observe a correlation between high HHV-8 antibody titers (≥1:1280) and spontaneous abortion. Although it is possible that an increased risk of spontaneous abortion may be associated with active infection with HHV-8, at this point there is not enough evidence to support such an association. Given that several human herpes viruses are well-known agents of fetal and/or perinatal infection and that primary maternal herpesvirus infection prior to 20 weeks of gestation in some women has been associated with spontaneous abortion [2], and given the dearth of information about the clinical manifestations of HHV-8 infection, Sarmati et al. are correct in suggesting that this question should be investigated further.

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