B virus (Herpesvirus simiae) infections in macaque colonies are common. Cesarean sections were performed on 2 bitches that were inoculated with CHV on the estimated 30th day of gestation. Here we report on the infectivity of KSHV produced from phorbol-induced BCBL-1 cells, employing an assay based on the detection of a spliced late mRNA by a sensitive reverse transcriptase PCR (RT-PCR) method. This data suggests that HHV-8 infection is not restricted to KS patients and that the prevalence of HHV-8 infection in the general population may be correlated with differing rates of prevalence of KS in different parts of the world. Follow-up lasted at least four years. The seroprevalence of HHV-8 in graft recipients increased from 6.4 percent on the day of transplantation to 17.7 percent one year after transplantation. The detection of characteristic herpesviral lesions in various organs and the reisolation of CHV from the liver, spleen, kidneys, and lungs of premature pups indicated CHV infection.
Sequential serum samples were obtained from 10 of the patients with seroconversion, and in 8 of these patients, IgM antibodies to HHV-8 appeared within three months after transplantation. This data supports the hypothesis that HHV-8 infects the general population in a latent form. In a control group of eight patients who were seronegative at the time of transplantation and who received allografts from HHV-8-negative donors, none seroconverted within the year after transplantation.