Investigative Report

High Prevalence of Torque Teno (TT) Virus in Classical Kaposi's Sarcoma

Céline Girard, Laure Ottomani, Jacques Ducos, Olivier Dereure, Marie J. Carles and Bernard Guillot
DOI: 10.2340/00015555-0188

Abstract

Human herpes virus 8 infection is the primary and necessary factor in the development of Kaposi's sarcoma, but is not sufficient per se to trigger the onset of the disease. In order to search for virological cofactors associated with the occurrence of the disease, we investigated the prevalence of active infection by two newly discovered viruses, hepatitis G virus and TT virus, among patients with classical Kaposi's sarcoma. Serum of 24 patients with Mediterranean Kaposi's sarcoma was investigated using polymerase chain reaction and compared with that of 68 healthy subjects. Cutaneous samples from patients with Kaposi's sarcoma and healthy subjects were investigated for TT virus DNA. No patient had serum markers for hepatitis G virus. TT virus DNA was present in the serum of 21/24 (87.5%) patients and 32/68 (47%) controls (p=0.002). TT virus DNA was present in the lesional skin of 5/18 patients with Kaposi's sarcoma (27.7%), but not in the skin of controls. TT virus might play a role as a cofactor in the clinical emergence of Kaposi's sarcoma in patients infected with Human herpes virus 8, perhaps by immunosuppressive effects or by a common transmission pathway for these two viruses.

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