Salivary human herpesvirus 8 shedding in renal allograft recipients with Kaposi's sarcoma

L. M. Al-Otaibi*, Siew Lin Ngui, C. M. Scully, S. R. Porter, C. G. Teo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Renal allograft recipients in the Middle East are at high risk of developing Kaposi's sarcoma. This report describes the extent of oral human herpesvirus 8 shedding and the genomic diversity of the virus in five Saudi Arabian kidney transplantation patients in whom Kaposi's sarcoma had developed. PCR protocols were applied to amplify three fragments of the viral genome from whole-mouth saliva, parotid saliva, buccal and palatal exfoliates, plasma, peripheral blood leukocytes and biopsy of the Kaposi's sarcoma lesion, and to quantify the viral load in whole-mouth saliva. Viral DNA was detected in all plasma and biopsy samples, 80% of whole-mouth saliva, 20% of each of the other oral samples, and none of the leukocyte samples. The viral load in the cell-free fraction of whole-mouth saliva ranged between approximately 1.2 × 10 3 and 2.2 × 106 genome-copies/ml. Genotypically distinct viral strains were evident: intra-lesionally in 1 patient; intra-orally in one patient; between an oral sample and biopsy in two patients; and in four patients, between an oral sample and plasma, and between plasma and biopsy. Thus, in the patients studied, salivary shedding of human herpesvirus 8 was frequent and could be extensive, and they were prone to multiple infections. Measures to curtail salivary viral transmission to pre-and post-transplantation patients might reduce the incidence of post-transplantation Kaposi's sarcoma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1357-1365
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Medical Virology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2007


  • Human herpesvirus 8
  • Kaposi's sarcoma
  • Renal allograft
  • Saliva


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