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Int J Clin Exp Pathol 2(4),456-462;2009

Original Article
Absence of Human Herpesvirus 8 in Pemphigus and Bullous Pemphigoid

Anjela Galan, Pei Hui and Jennifer M. McNiff

Department of Neuroscience, Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, Florida

Departments of Pathology and Dermatology, Yale University of School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA

Abstract: Pemphigus and pemphigoid are vesicobullous disorders characterized by an autoimmune attack on intercellular or basement
membrane antigens, resulting in defective keratinocyte adhesion. Recently there have been reports of human herpesvirus 8 (HHV8)
associated with cases of pemphigus using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) techniques, in situ hybridization, and serologic data. However,
data to date is contradictory, and the relationship between this virus and autoimmune vesiculobullous disorders is unclear. No reports have
attempted immunohistochemical localization of HHV8 in tissue affected by PV or BP. We studied immunohistochemical expression of HHV8
on paraffin-embedded tissue in 10 cases of pemphigus vulgaris (PV), 1 case of pemphigus foliaceous (PF) and 14 cases of bullous
pemphigoid (BP). Five cases of normal skin were included as controls. Confirmatory PCR for HHV8 was performed on 4 selected cases,
including 2 cases of PV and 2 cases of BP. Immunohistochemistry failed to identified the presence of HHV8 in all cases of PV (10 cases), PF
(1 case) and BP (14 cases). Molecular detection of HHV8 DNA was not detected in selected PV (2 cases) and BP (2 cases). Published studies
have shown contradictory evidence regarding the presence of HHV8 in vesiculobullous diseases such as pemphigus and pemphigoid. Our
results refute a causal relationship between HHV8 and PV, PF and BP. (IJCEP812005).

Key Words: Pemphigus, bullous pemphigoid, human herpesvirus 8 (HHV8), immunohistochemistry, polymerase chain reaction

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Address all correspondence to: Dr. Pei Hui, Programs in Women’s Health and Molecular Diagnostics, Department of Pathology, Yale
University School of Medicine, BML 250, 310 Cedar Street, New Haven, CT 06520-8023. Tel: 203-785-6498; Fax: 203-737-1064; Email: