Studies of Human Herpesvirus 8 and Kaposi's Sarcoma in Sicily
A series of studies will be conducted in Sicily by a collaborative team from the U.S.
National Cancer Institute and the University of Palermo to better understand the prevalence
and risk factors for the newly discovered human herpes virus 8 (HHV8) and Kaposi's sarcoma
(KS), which may be a consequence of HHV8 infection. There are four short-term projects:
1. To determine HHV8 seroprevalence in extant, unlinked sera from informative groups,
including homosexual men, persons with sexually transmitted diseases, and in general
population groups, particularly the elderly. In addition, HHV8 prevalence and other
serological studies may be determined among other adults, particularly those who may be
recruited for future studies and those likely to enhance understanding of HHV8
2. To identify a pediatric syndrome that might be associated with HHV8 infection, HHV8
seroprevalence will be determined in sera from hospitalized children with a wide range
of clinical conditions.
3. To determine HHV8 seroprevalence in various regions of Italy and by HLA Class II groups
that have been linked to increased (HLA-DR5) or decreased (HLA-DR3) risk of KS, using
extant, unlinked sera and data from volunteer bone marrow donors.
4. To conduct a case control study that will identify risk factors for KS among persons
who are infected with HHV8 and who manifest anti-HHV8 latent antibodies.
The results of these projects will be summarized for publication in the medical and
scientific literature and for the design and prioritization of related projects in the
James J Goedert, M.D.
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
United States: Federal Government