The incidence of squamous cell carcinoma of the conjunctiva is particularly high in sub-Saharan Africa with temporal trends similar to those of Kaposi sarcoma (KS). Human herpesvirus type 8 (HHV8), has not yet been investigated in conjunctiva tumors. In this study biopsies and PBMCs of conjunctiva neoplasia patients along with nonneoplastic conjunctiva tissues have been analyzed for HHV8 sequences by PCR targeting ORF26. All amplimers were subjected to nucleotide sequencing followed by phylogenetic analysis. HHV8 DNA has been identified in 12 out of 48 (25%) HIV-positive, and in 2 out of 24 (8.3%) HIV-negative conjunctiva neoplastic tissues and in 4 out of 33 (12.1%) PBMC samples from conjunctiva neoplasia diseased patients as well as in 4 out of 60 (6.7%) nontumor conjunctiva tissues. The viral load ranged from 1 to 400 copies/105 cells. Phylogenetic analysis showed that the majority of HHV8 ORF26 amplimers clustered with subtypes R (n = 11) and B2 (n = 6). This variant distribution is in agreement with that of HHV8 variants previously identified in Ugandan KS cases. The presence of HHV8 in conjunctiva tumors from HIV-positive patients warrants further studies to test whether HHV8 products released by infected cells may have paracrine effects on the growth of conjunctiva lesions.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)