, Volume 35, Issue 1, pp 567-572
Date: 20 Aug 2013

Association of Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) with bladder cancer in Croatian patients

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As the seventh most common human malignancy, bladder cancer represents a global health problem. In addition to well-recognized risk factors such as smoking and exposure to chemicals, various infectious agents have been implicated as cofactors in the pathogenesis of urothelial malignancies. The aim of the present study was to assess the possible association of viral infection and bladder cancer in Croatian patients. Biopsy specimens were collected from a total of 55 patients diagnosed with different stages of bladder cancer. Initial screening of DNA extracts for the presence of viruses on Lawrence Livermore Microbial Detection Array revealed Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) in each of three randomly chosen biopsy specimens. The prevalence of infection with KSHV among study population was then examined by KSHV-specific polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and immunoblotting. By nested PCR, KSHV DNA was detected in 55 % of patients. KSHV, also known as human herpesvirus 8, is an infectious agent known to cause cancer. Its oncogenic potential is primarily recognized from its role in Kaposi’s sarcoma, but it has also been involved in pathogenesis of two lymphoproliferative disorders. A high prevalence of KSHV infection in our study indicates that KSHV may play a role in tumorigenesis of bladder cancer and warrants further studies.

Martina Paradžik, Viljemka Bučević-Popović, and Marijan Šitum have equally contributed to this work.