The frequency and distribution of herpesvirus-like DNA sequences (KSHV) were investigated by PCR in the pathologic skin lesions of a series of 22 HIV-negative elderly patients with classic Kaposi´s sarcoma (KS) from Italy, one of the few regions of the world where classic KS is prevalent. Viral sequences were clearly identifiable in 15 cases, in particular in 2 of 5 patch, in 3 of 6 plaque and in 10 of 11 nodular lesions. Our findings confirm the association of these herpesvirus-like DNA sequences with KS in unrelated populations, providing evidence of the putative KS-associated agent in all different histologic lesions of the disease, mainly in the nodular stage. The search for other herpesviruses by PCR showed that Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) sequences were present in 7 of 22 pathologic skin lesions. In 4 cases, both EBV and KSHV were present. On the contrary, all 22 classic KS specimens were negative for human herpesvirus-6 sequences. Two of 3 patch and the 1 nodular lesions from AIDS-related KS patients examined were positive for KSHV but negative for both EBV and HHV-6 sequences. Furthermore, we evaluated the prevalence of KSHV sequences in the normal population of the same geographical area. Thirteen peripheral blood mononuclear cell samples, 9 salivary gland tissues and 6 saliva samples from healthy subjects were invariably found negative for KSHV, using the same PCR technique. Of interest, 2 of 11 hyperplastic tonsils harboured these herpesvirus-like sequences, suggesting that, like other herpesviruses, the KS-associated agent may be harboured in a proportion of normal individuals and tonsils may represent at least one of the possible reservoirs of this putative lymphotropic gamma-herpesvirus in vivo.
Frequency and distribution of herpesvirus-like DNA sequences (KSHV) in different stages of classic Kaposi's sarcoma and in normal tissues from Italian population / Luppi, Mario; Barozzi, Patrizia; Maiorana, Antonino; G., Collina; M. G., Ferrari; Marasca, Roberto; M., Morselli; E., Rossi; L., Ceccherini Nelli; Torelli, Giuseppe. - In: INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF CANCER. - ISSN 0020-7136. - STAMPA. - 66:(1996), pp. 427-431.