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Immunological profile of endemic and epidemic Kaposi's sarcoma patients in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania.

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Kaposi's sarcoma (KS) presents in four clinicopathological types namely classical/sporadic (CKS), endemic African (EKS), iatrogenic (IKS) and that associated with AIDS (AKS). Recently a putative herpes virus (HHV-8) was described and shown to be present in all four types of KS. The immunological status of patients with EKS has been conflicting. In this study total leucocyte counts, total lymphocyte counts and lymphocyte subsets of patients with EKS and AKS were determined by flow cytometry and compared to those of healthy HIV-1 seronegative controls. Results show that 50% of EKS lesions were of nodular type. Patients with EKS had significantly lower levels of CD4+ T- lymphocytes and CD4:CD8 ratio but significantly higher CD8+ T-lymphocytes compared to controls. Patients with AKS had significantly lower levels of CD4+ T-lymphocytes and also CD4:CD8 ratios but significantly higher percentage of CD8+ T-lymphocytes when compared with EKS patients. These findings indicate that in both forms of KS there is a certain degree of immunological disturbance which is more conspicuous in AKS because of HIV infection and suggests that HIV-1 acts synergistically with the aetiological agent (HHV-8) to cause a more aggressive type of KS.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Muhimbili University College of Health Sciences, Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania.

Publication date: June 1, 1998

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  • The International Journal of Molecular Medicine is a monthly, peer-reviewed journal devoted to the publication of high quality studies related to the molecular mechanisms of human disease. The journal welcomes research on all aspects of molecular and clinical research, ranging from biochemistry to immunology, pathology, genetics, human genomics, microbiology, molecular pathogenesis, molecular cardiology, molecular surgery and molecular psychology.

    The International Journal of Molecular Medicine aims to provide an insight for researchers within the community in regard to developing molecular tools and identifying molecular targets for the diagnosis and treatment of a diverse number of human diseases.
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