Epidemiological characteristics of human herpesvirus-8 infection in a large population of antenatal women in Zambia

W. Klaskala, B. P. Brayfield, C. Kankasa, G. Bhat, J. T. West, C. D. Mitchell, Charles Wood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Comprehensive data describing epidemiological characteristics of the human herpesvirus-8 or Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (HHV-8 or KSHV) infection among pregnant women in a central sub-Saharan Africa are not available. This study determined virus prevalence estimates and the risk factors associated with HHV-8 infection. Cross-sectional, enrollment visit data were analyzed from a prospective cohort study of perinatal transmission of HHV-8 in Lusaka, Zambia. Exposure data were obtained via structured interview, physical examination, medical chart review, and laboratory testing. Among 3,160 antenatal women serologically screened for HHV-8 between September 1998 and October 2000, 40.2% were seropositive. The HHV-8 positive women were more likely to be co-infected with HIV-1 than those who were HHV-8 negative (34% vs. 26%; P < 0.0001). Of 154 variables evaluated by logistic regression analyses, only three risk factors, have emerged as independent predictors of HHV-8 positive serology: diagnosis of genital warts, HIV-1 co-infection and primary education. The association of HHV-8 infection with genital warts and HIV-1 co-infection suggests heterosexual transmission of HHV-8. HIV-1 infection may also act as a marker for particular behaviors, which could be sexual in nature, that are associated with both HIV-1 and HHV-8 transmission. Since HHV-8 facilitates development of AIDS-related Kaposi's sarcoma (KS), the results of this study could be utilized to identify specific population groups of pregnant women who are at increased risk for this disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)93-100
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Medical Virology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2005


  • HHV-8 infection
  • HIV-1 infection
  • Pregnant women
  • Prevalence
  • Risk assessment
  • Zambia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases


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