High prevalence of early childhood infection by Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus in a minority population in China.
ABSTRACT In China, KSHV seroprevalence varies considerably among different regions and ethnicities. But in Xinjiang province, located in the northwestern China, there is a very high seroprevalence of KSHV in adults of Kazak and Ughur ethnicities. However, KSHV prevalence in children and the risk factors associated with the acquisition of infection are currently not known. The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence of KSHV infection and identify associated socioeconomic or behavioural risk factors and the humoral immune response among children in this population. This is a cross-sectional study (N = 178) to screen children and their caregivers from Xinjiang for total KSHV antibodies, KSHV neutralizing antibodies and HIV infection. Structured questionnaires were utilized to investigate risk factors associated with KSHV prevalence. KSHV seroprevalence in children and caregivers in Xinjiang was 48.3% and 64.7%, respectively. Neutralizing antibody was detected in most seropositive caregivers (93.8%) but was detected in only 5.8% of the infected children. A significant association was observed between child KSHV seroprevalence and sharing of food among family members. These results suggest that similar to other endemic areas in Africa, KSHV infection in the minority populations of Xinjiang is likely to be occurring during early childhood, probably via horizontal transmission through saliva, and results in high seroprevalence in the adult population.
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ABSTRACT: This review summarizes the current knowledge pertaining to Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) epidemiology and transmission. Since the identification of KSHV twenty years ago, it is now known to be associated with Kaposi's sarcoma (KS), primary effusion lymphoma, and multicentric Castleman's disease. Many studies have been conducted to understand its epidemiology and pathogenesis and their results clearly show that the worldwide distribution of KSHV is uneven. Some geographical areas, such as sub-Saharan Africa, the Mediterranean region and the Xinjiang region of China, are endemic areas, but Western Europe and United States have a low prevalence in the general population. This makes it imperative to understand the risk factors associated with acquisition of infection. KSHV can be transmitted via sexual contact and non-sexual routes, such as transfusion of contaminated blood and tissues transplants, or via saliva contact. There is now a general consensus that salivary transmission is the main route of transmission, especially in children residing in endemic areas. Therefore, there is a need to better understand the sources of transmission to young children. Additionally, lack of animal models to study transmission, gold standard serological assay and the lack of emphasis on endemic KS research has hampered the efforts to further delineate KSHV transmission in order to design effective prevention strategies.Viruses 11/2014; 6(11):4178-4194. DOI:10.3390/v6114178 · 3.28 Impact Factor