BACKGROUND: Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8) are two related herpesviruses that may be sexually transmitted.
GOAL: To examine the presence of HHV-8 and EBV DNA in the female genital tract.
STUDY DESIGN: Real-time polymerase chain reaction systems for quantification of DNA from HHV-8, EBV, and herpes simplex virus type 2 were developed and used for examination of cervical secretions from 112 Swedish women. HHV-8, EBV, and herpes simplex virus type 2 serology was also performed on samples from all subjects.
RESULTS: EBV DNA was found in 10 cervical secretion samples, sometimes in high amounts. No cervical secretion or leukocyte sample contained detectable HHV-8 DNA. Antibodies to HHV-8-latent and -lytic antigens were found in 2.7 % and 24% of serum samples, respectively.
CONCLUSION: This study supports a possible sexual route of transmission for EBV but not for HHV-8. The new real-time polymerase chain reaction systems could be valuable in future studies of relations between virus load and disease
2001. Vol. 28, no 5, 300-306 p.