Detection of Human Herpes Virus-8 in Kaposi's Sarcoma tissues at the University Teaching Hospital, Lusaka

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Tembo, Rabecca
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Background: Human herpes virus-8, a 2-herpesvirus, is the aetiological agent of Kaposi‘s sarcoma. Recently, there has been an increase in kaposi‘s sarcoma cases in Zambia with the seroprevalence reported to range from 20-48%. In a recent study, the incidence of paediatric KS at the University Teaching Hospital in Lusaka was shown to have increased from 3.2% to 19% in just one decade, demonstrating the enormity of the problem of KS. Despite this increase, the diagnosis of kaposi‘s sarcoma is based on morphological appearance of the affected tissues using histological techniques and the association with its causative agent, Human herpes virus 8 is not sought. This means poor prognosis for affected patients since the causative agent is not targeted during diagnosis and KS lesions may be mistaken for other reactive and neoplatic vascular proliferations when only histological techniques are used. Objectives: This study was therefore aimed at detecting Human Herpes virus 8 in Kaposi‘s sarcoma tissues at the University Teaching Hospital in Lusaka. Methods and Results: One hundred and twenty suspected Kaposi‘s sarcoma archival formalin-fixed paraffin-wax embedded tissues stored from January 2013 to December 2014 in the Histopathology Laboratory were analysed using histology and Polymerase Chain Reaction targeting the ORF26 gene of Human Herpes virus 8. The following histological types of Kaposi‘s sarcoma were detected: Nodular (60.7%), plaque (22.6%) and patch (16.7%). The nodular lesion was the most common and was identified mostly in males (40.5%, 34/84) than females (20.2%, 17/84) (p=0.041). Human Herpes virus 8 DNA was detected in 53.6% (45/84) and mostly in the nodular KS lesions (60%, 27/84) (p=0.035). Conclusion: These findings indicate that Human Herpes virus 8 is detectable in Kaposi‘s sarcoma tissues, and, as previously reported in other settings, is closely associated with Kaposi‘s sarcoma.
Herpes virus-8 , Kaposi's Sarcoma