Human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8) is a recently discovered gammaherpesvirus that is the etiologic agent of Kaposi sarcoma (KS). The natural history of primary HHV-8 infection, including clinical outcome and host immune responses that may be important in preventing disease related to HHV-8, has not been elucidated. The present study characterized the clinical, immunologic, and virologic parameters of primary HHV-8 infection in 5 cases detected during a 15-year longitudinal study of 108 human immunodeficiency virus type 1 seronegative men in the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study. Primary HHV-8 infection was associated with mild, nonspecific signs and symptoms of diarrhea, fatigue, localized rash, and lymphadenopathy. There were no alterations in numbers of CD4+ or CD8+ T cells or CD8+ T-cell interferon γ (IFN-γ) production to mitogen or nominal antigen. CD8+ cytotoxic T-lymphocyte precursor (CTLp) and IFN-γ reactivity were detected during primary HHV-8 infection, with broad specificity to 5 lytic cycle proteins of HHV-8 encoded by open reading frame 8 (ORF 8; glycoprotein B homolog of Epstein-Barr virus), ORF 22 (gH homolog), ORF 25 (major capsid protein homolog), ORF 26 (a minor capsid protein homolog), or ORF 57 (an early protein homolog), in association with increases in serum antibody titers and appearance of HHV-8 DNA in blood mononuclear cells. CD8+ T-cell responses to HHV-8 decreased by 2 to 3 years after primary infection. This antiviral T-cell response may control initial HHV-8 infection and prevent development of disease.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology