Detection of Herpes Virus Genomes in Skin Lesions from Patients with Behçet's Disease and Other Related Inflammatory Diseases
MICHIKO TOJO, XUEYI ZHENG, HIROKATSU YANAGIHORI, NORITAKA OYAMA, KAZUO TAKAHASHI, KOICHIRO NAKAMURA, FUMIO KANEKO
Although the aetiology of Behçet's disease is still poorly understood, viral infection has long been postulated as one of the factors. To investigate the relationship between herpes viruses and Behçet's disease, we used polymerase chain reaction to detect herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) and 2 (HSV-2), and human herpes virus 6 (HHV-6) and 7 (HHV-7) DNA in samples of lesional tissues from patients with Behçet's disease and other related inflammatory disorders. Four cases were positive for HSV-1; 1 of 11 Behçet's disease cases, 2 of 3 Sweet's disease cases and 1 of 3 erythema nodosum cases. Two cases were positive for both HSV-1 and HSV-2; one Behçet's disease and one erythema nodosum. All cases were negative for HHV-6 and HHV-7. These findings indicate that there might be some relationship between Behçet's disease and the presence of HSV-1 and/or HSV-2 DNA and that HHV-6 and HHV-7 do not seem to be involved in the pathogenesis of Behçet's disease. However, HSV-1 and HSV-2 DNAs were also detected in non-Behçet's disease lesions, suggesting that HSV-1/2 is not correlated to the direct pathogenesis of Behçet's disease.