High prevalence of Human Herpes Virus 8 (HHV-8) in patients with Warthin's tumors of the salivary gland
Background: Warthin's tumor is a common benign neoplasm of the salivary gland. Human Herpes Virus 8 (HHV-8) is the etiologic agent for all forms of Kaposi's sarcoma (KS), and HHV-8 DNA is present in saliva, suggesting that non-sexual transmission is associated with latent infection of the salivary gland. Objectives: To provide insights into the HHV-8 cell tropism, the presence of HHV-8 was investigated in a series of Warthin's tumors of the salivary gland and corresponding adjacent normal tissue. Study design: Forty-three patients with Warthin's tumors (cystadenolymphoma) were tested for the presence of HHV-8 DNA, and corresponding adjacent normal tissue samples were obtained from 15 patients. DNA was extracted from the paraffin-embedded tissues. A nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay was applied, and the positive samples were confirmed by direct sequencing. Results: HHV-8 DNA was detected in 19 out of 43 (44%) salivary gland tumor samples. Among the 15 cases with paired samples, 9 were HHV-8-positive for both samples, 4 were HHV-8-negative for both samples while in two cases HHV-8 was detected only in the tumor specimens. Conclusions: HHV-8 is frequently detected in adenoid salivary neoplasms, suggesting a significant role of the virus in the etiopathogenesis of the disease. Larger studies are required to investigate the role of HHV-8 in the development or progression of Warthin's tumors.