Human herpesvirus type 7 in Hodgkin's disease

Paola Secchiero, Laura Davico Bonino, Paolo Lusso, Maria Cristina Abele, Gigliola Reato, Simonetta Kerim, Giorgio Palestro, Giorgio Zauli, Guido Valente

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Several lines of evidence have pointed to the involvement of a viral agent in the pathogenesis of Hodgkin's disease (HD). Therefore we investigated the presence of human herpesvirus type 7 (HHV-7) in 53 cases of HD by polymerase chain reaction (PCR), DNA in situ hybridization (ISH) and immunohistochemistry. HHV-7 DNA was frequently detected (68% of the cases) in HD biopsies by PCR independently of the histological type, whereas only 32% (P <0.05) of positive cases were found in 19 reactive lymph nodes. However, by applying the quantitative PCR technique, the majority of the samples showed a low level of viral load. Moreover, ISH for HHV-7 DNA was positive in a low number of small T lymphocytes and consistently negative in Hodgkin and Reed-Sternberg (HRS) cells, which appeared negative for HHV-7 also at immunohistochemistry. These results indicate that the high frequency of HHV- 7 infection in HD: (i) is probably non-productive, (ii) mainly involves small lymphocytes belonging to the T-lineage, and (iii) is probably due to the recruitment of non-malignant reactive cells in HD tissue.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)492-499
Number of pages8
JournalBritish Journal of Haematology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1998


  • HHV-7
  • Hodgkin's disease
  • ISH
  • Lymph nodes
  • PCR

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology


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