February 23, 2012

Primary and Reactivated HHV8 Infection and Disease After Liver Transplantation: A Prospective Study.


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HHV8 is a herpesvirus and a causative agent of Kaposi’s sarcoma and Castleman’s disease.  As with other latent herpesviruses, it can be transmitted via organ transplantation from a seropositive donor to a seronegative recipient.  Italy has a high seroprevalence of HHV8 (~18%).  In this study, the authors reviewed HHV8 infections in the first year post-liver transplant.  Of the 8 patients that were HHV8 D+/R-, 4 developed a primary HHV8 infection and 2 died of multiorgan failure.  Seropositive patients reactivated HHV8 but at a lower rate.  Although not commonly seen in North America, the study provides important insight into a lesser-known donor-transmitted infection.

Transplant Infectious Disease

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