Molecular Detection of Human Herpesvirus-8 in Plasma and Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells of Patients with Cryptogenic Cirrhosis

Document Type : Original Article


Department of Virology, School of Medicine, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran


Background: Human herpesvirus-8 is the infectious etiology of endothelial origin in tumours with blood disorders. However, in some cirrhotic patients, no etiology can be identified, and such cases are known as cryptogenic cirrhosis. The aim of this study was to determine frequencies of infection with this virus in patients with cryptogenic cirrhosis.
Methods: In the present case-control study, 67 patients with cryptogenic cirrhosis were enrolled. After the collection of plasma and peripheral blood mononuclear cell samples from the studied patients and also 70 healthy blood donors as the control group, DNA extraction was performed. All the participants were tested for viral antibodies and DNA with Enzyme Immunoassay and nested-PCR, respectively.
Results: The mean age of the studied patients was 43.8 ± 14.7 years (ranged 14–71 years), and 47 ones were male (70.1%). Out of the 67 patients, 11 ones (16.4%) were positive for antibodies, and DNA was found in plasma samples of 3 patients (4.5%), whereas the viral DNA was detected in the peripheral blood mononuclear cell samples of 5 participants (7.5%). Among 70 healthy blood donors as the control group, 3 participants (2.9%) were positive for antibodies and viral DNA was not detected in plasma and peripheral blood mononuclear cell samples.
Conclusion: Based on the results of this study, the prevalence of infection in patients with cryptogenic cirrhosis is higher than that in the general population. According to these results, it seems that infection with this virus should be considered in patients with cryptogenic cirrhosis. However, more evidence is needed to prove this.


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