KSVH papers in New England J Med

Ian A. York york at mbcrr.harvard.edu
Wed May 3 01:33:56 EST 1995

In case anyone misses them, there are two articles in the latest NE J Med 
on the putative Kaposi's sarcoma herpes virus (KSVH).  Both use PCR of a 
small fragment to identify KSVH.  One looked at Kaposi's sarcoma in both 
AIDS and non-AIDS patients, and found a very high positive rate in both 
(I think 100%), with a low positive rate in controls (5%).  Tissue 
outside the KS regions in the AIDS patients had an intermediate positive 
frequency.  The series of patients was not very large, but the 
correlation is striking.  

The other paper (overlapping authors) looked at various tumours in AIDS 
patients.  One set of tumours (cavity, B lymphomas, EBV-positive) were 
all positive for KSVH.  The implication is that, like the viruses to 
which the KSVH sequences are most homologous (EBV, herpesvirus saimiri) 
KSVH may be able to cause lymphoid malignancies; or at least cooperate 
with EBV and other factors (immunosuppression?) to lead to lymphoid 

Very interesting findings.  I hope there is more sequence available soon; 
be nice to find out more about the putative virus.

Ian York   (york at mbcrr.harvard.edu)
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, 44 Binney St., Boston MA 02115
Phone (617)-632-3921     Fax  (617)-632-2627

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