HHV-8 DNA replication correlates with the clinical status in AIDS-related Kaposi's sarcoma

Francesco Broccolo, Chiara Tassan Din, Maria Grazia Viganò, Teresa Rutigliano, Susanna Esposito, Paolo Lusso, Giuseppe Tambussi, Mauro S. Malnati

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The value of plasma levels of human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8) DNA as a marker of clinical status in acquired immunodeficiency syndrome-related Kaposi's sarcoma (AIDS-KS) remains to be elucidated. Objectives: To investigate the relationship between the plasma HHV-8 DNA viral load and the clinical status of AIDS-KS. Study Design: A total of 378 blood samples were obtained from 62 patients with AIDS-KS followed longitudinally. All patients received antiretroviral therapy (ART) or anti-neoplastic therapy. The patients were divided into four groups according to their clinical status: onset disease (OD), progressive disease (PD), stable or partial remission (S/PR) and complete remission (CR). Results: Plasma HHV-8 DNAaemia was detected in all samples obtained from patients with OD or PD (100%); in contrast, HHV-8 DNAaemia was found only in a minority of patients with CR (8%) and was invariably undetectable in patients with stable CR. HHV-8 DNA detection in plasma was strongly associated with an unfavourable outcome (odds ratio = 231.9; p <0.0001). Conversely, neither the HIV-1 viral load nor peripheral CD4+ T-cell counts were associated with the KS clinical status, though both parameters did affect HHV-8 DNAaemia levels (p <0.0001). Multivariate analysis confirmed that HHV-8 DNAaemia was strongly and independently correlated with both clinical status (p <0.05) and HIV-1 plasma viraemia (p = 0.027). Conclusions: The strong association of plasma HHV-8 DNAaemia with onset or progressive disease is compatible with an active role of replicating virus in clinically active AIDS-KS. An accurate evaluation of the plasma HHV-8 load might be useful for monitoring AIDS-KS under antiretroviral or antineoplastic therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-52
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Clinical Virology
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2016


  • Disease progression
  • Human herpesvirus-8
  • Kaposi's sarcoma
  • Plasma viraemia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases


Dive into the research topics of 'HHV-8 DNA replication correlates with the clinical status in AIDS-related Kaposi's sarcoma'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this