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J Bacteriol Virol. 2001 Sep;31(3):275-279. English. Original Article.
Kim OJ , Kim SS , Choi BS , Suh SD , Lee MW , Kim KS , Park MS , Lee JS .

A putative gamma herpesvirus, termed human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8), discovered in recent years, has been implicated as a possible etiologic agent for Kaposi`s sarcoma (KS). In South Korea, the incidence of KS in HIV seropositive individuals is very low. The cause of its rarity as compared with other countries is unclear. The objective of this study was performed to determine the prevalence of infection with HHV-8 and to clarify the cause of low incidence of KS in Korean populations including HIV seropositive individuals. The study population was composed of 200 blood donors, 220 voluntary visitors for sexual transmitted infection (STI)-testing in the public health centers, and 214 HIV-seropositive individuals. For the detection of HHV-8 antibodies, all blood samples were tested using Advanced Biotechnologies Inc`s enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) kits and the reactive samples were retested using Biotrin International SARL`s immunofluorescent assay (IFA). Also, we investigated the seroprevalence of Cytomegalovirus (CMV), Varicella-Zoster virus (VZV) and Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) in order to get more information of HHV-8 and other human herpesviruses transmission in Korea. The prevalence of specific IgG to HHV-8 among HIV seropositive individuals was 7.0% {95% confidential interval: 4.0-11.3%}. The specific antibody to HHV-8 could be detected only in HIV seropositive men. The prevalences of antibodies to other human herpesviruses unlike HHV-8 were very high even in blood donors. These observations strongly suggest that the rarity of KS in this country may be caused by very low prevalence of HHV-8.

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