Prevalence, incidence and correlates of HHV-8/KSHV infection and Kaposi's Sarcoma in renal and liver transplant recipients

M. Andreoni, D. Goletti, P. Pezzotti, A. Pozzetto, P. Monini, L. Sarmati, F. Farchi, G. Tisone, A. Piazza, F. Pisani, M. Angelico, P. Leone, F. Citterio, B. Ensoli, G. Rezza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: To determine whether the incidence of HHV-8/KSHV infection and the risk of developing KS among organ transplant recipients differ by type of organ transplanted, we calculated the rate of HHV-8/KSHV seroconversion and the risk of developing KS among renal and liver transplant recipients. Methods: The study population consisted of renal and liver transplant recipients recruited in two transplant centres in Rome, Italy. Both pre-transplant and post-transplant serum samples were available for all participants. The prevalence of HHV-8/KSHV infection before transplantation was calculated. To determine risk factors for infection, we calculated ORs and 95% CI. Seroconversion rates (i.e. attack rates) after transplantation were also calculated. Differences in attack rates were calculated using a binomial test for proportions. Results: Of the 130 participants, 21 (16.1%) were HHV-8/KSHV-positive before transplantation. Women were more likely to be infected than men, whereas no difference was observed by type of organ transplanted. Of the 109 initially negative individuals, 13 (11.9%) developed anti-HHV-8/KSHV antibodies after transplantation. The incidence of HHV-8/KSHV infection tended to be higher among liver transplant recipients. Four renal transplant recipients and none of the liver transplant recipients developed KS after transplantation. The risk of KS was higher among recipients who were already HHV-8/KSHV-positive before transplantation. Conclusions: HHV-8/KSHV seroconversion rates appear to be higher among liver transplant recipients, compared to renal transplant recipients. However, renal transplant recipients tend to have a higher risk of KS. HHV-8/KSHV reactivation appears to play a greater role on the risk of KS than incident infections.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195-199
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Infection
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Microbiology
  • Parasitology
  • Virology
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Infectious Diseases


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