© 2014 Elsevier B.V. Background: Epidemiological data suggest that some viruses may be linked to the development of autoimmunity. Objectives: The objective of this work was to determine the presence of HHV-8 viral DNA in whole blood from patients suffering from different systemic autoimmune diseases (SAD). We also aimed at testing the prevalence of patients showing antibodies against an HHV-8 orfK8.1 peptide. Study design: Two hundred and eighty SAD patients and 50 healthy blood donor controls were included. Molecular analyses were performed by nested PCR from DNA obtained from whole blood and an enzyme immunoassay was developed in order to test for the presence of antibodies directed against a synthetic peptide derived from the HHV-8 orfK8.1 protein. Results: Only 2 out of the 280 samples analyzed yielded the specific HHV-8 PCR product. Antibodies against orfK8.1 were detected in 2 SLE patients, 1 patient suffering from Sjögren's syndrome and 2 patients with vasculitis. Conclusions: We conclude that HHV-8 is usually not present in blood neither from autoimmune patients nor from healthy controls. Furthermore, HHV-8 antibodies against the HHV-8 orfK8.1 peptide were rarely detected. It leads us to infer that HHV-8 is not involved on the development of these disorders. It does not rule out the possibility that other environmental and microbiological triggers may account for their etiopathogenesis.
- Sjögren's syndrome