OnLine Journal of Biological Sciences

Epidemiology of Human Herpesvirus Type 8 Infection in Cardiopathic Patients

Angela Ingianni, Maria A. Madeddu, Francesca Carta, Anna Reina, Carlo Lai and Raffaello Pompei

DOI : 10.3844/ojbsci.2009.36.39

OnLine Journal of Biological Sciences

Volume 9, Issue 2

Pages 36-39


Problem statement: The possible contribution of viruses to vascular pathology is still a controversial issue. Human herpesvirus type 8 (HHV-8) has been suggested to participate to the pathogenetic events associated with atherosclerotic lesion establishment and progression. Recently, a high incidence of infection of HHV-8 (11%) has been verified in the island of Sardinia. The aim of this study was to evaluate a possible relationship between the HHV-8 infection and cardiovascular diseases in the South of Sardinia. Approach: The presence of HHV-8 genome was detected in DNA extracted from peripheral leucocytes, by nested-PCR and Southern blotting, in either acute or chronic cardiopathic patients (n = 180); healthy blood donors were examined as controls (n = 108). Results: The results demonstrated a significant increase (p = 0.035) in HHV-8 DNA isolation from cardiopathic patients (22.8%) in comparison to healthy controls (12.0%). Conclusion: HHV8 infection can be considered, among others, as an additional risk factor for cardiovascular disease development, although it was not necessarily the starting cause. More extensive studies were needed to define the exact role of HHV-8 infection in cardiopathic patients.


© 2009 Angela Ingianni, Maria A. Madeddu, Francesca Carta, Anna Reina, Carlo Lai and Raffaello Pompei. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.