Absence of Kaposi sarcoma among ethiopian immigrants to Israel despite high seroprevalence of human herpesvirus8

Zehava Grossman, Jose Iscovich, Fidi Schwartz, Esther Azizi, Avraham Klepfish, Ami Schattner, Ronit Sarid*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Objective: To determine the prevalence of Kaposi sarcoma (KS) and human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8) seropositivity in Ethiopian Jewish immigrants to Israel. Methods: A Western blot assay was used to determine the seroprevalence of HHV-8 in serum samples from 202 randomly selected human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-negative and 47 HIV-positive Ethiopian immigrants; samples were obtained on arrival of the immigrants in Israel. The Israel Cancer Registry provided comprehensive data on the occurrence of KS among Ethiopian immigrants and in the non-Ethiopian population of Israel. Results: A total of 39.1% and 57% of the HIV-negative and HIV-positive Ethiopians, respectively, were infected with HHV-8 (P<.03). However, none of the Ethiopiansexamined and none of the other HIV-negative Ethiopians among about 45,000 immigrants had KS. Moreover, only 1 (0.85%) of 118 Ethiopian patients with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) developed KS compared with 49 (12.5%) of 391 non-Ethiopian AIDS patients (P<;.001). Conclusion: Although HHV-8 infection is common in Ethiopian Jewish immigrants to Israel, these patients almost never develop KS, in marked contrast to the strong association usually observed. The mechanism behind this population's unique protection requires further study i.e.,

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)905-909
Number of pages5
JournalMayo Clinic Proceedings
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2002
Externally publishedYes


FundersFunder number
Israel Cancer Association


    Dive into the research topics of 'Absence of Kaposi sarcoma among ethiopian immigrants to Israel despite high seroprevalence of human herpesvirus8'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this