A prospective seroepidemiological study of human herpesvirus-8 infection and the risk of multiple myeloma

R. Tedeschi, M. Kvarnung, P. Knekt, T. F. Schulz, L. Szekely, P. De Paoli, A. Aromaa, L. Teppo, J. Dillner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Presence of the Human Herpesvirus 8 (HHV8) genome has been reported in the bone marrow of multiple myeloma (MM) patients. So far, serological studies of HHV8 and MM have been inconsistent but have not included prospective epidemiological studies. We evaluated whether HHV8 infection is associated with increased risk for MM in a prospective population-based study of 39 000 Finnish subjects who donated serum samples in the period 1968-72. Serum samples from 47 subjects who developed MM during a 23-year follow-up and 224 age, area of residence and sex-matched subjects who remained healthy over a similar follow-up period were evaluated for HHV8 antibodies at enrolment, as assayed both with an immunofluorescence assay (IFA) for lytic and latent HHV8 antigens and by Western blot (WB) with three recombinant HHV8 proteins (ORFs 65, 73 and K8.1A). HHV8 seropositivity for at least one HHV8 protein on WB was found in 7% of the Finnish population and was not associated with the risk of developing MM (Relative Risk (RR) = 0.89, Confidence Interval (CI): 0.25-3.25). HHV8 seropositivity for lytic and latent antigens in the IFA was found in 16% and 0.4% of the Finnish population and tended to associate with risk of MM (RR = 2.02, CI: 0.94-4.33 and RR = 10.00, CI: 0.91-110.29, respectively). In conclusion, no statistically significant evidence for an association between HHV8 infection and the risk of future MM was found.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)122-125
Number of pages4
JournalBritish Journal of Cancer
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • Epidemiology
  • Nested case-control study
  • Tumour virology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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