WASHINGTON--New research presented at the 2nd National Conference on Human Retroviruses and Related Infections appears to confirm last year's report that a virus is the cause of Kaposi's sarcoma (KS). Its discoverers, Drs. Patrick S. Moore and Yuan Chang of Columbia University, are calling the virus Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV).
The researchers announced that they have mapped the virus's basic genetic structure and found that it is the largest known herpesvirus, containing DNA made up of 270,000 nucleotide base pairs.
They have consistently found the genetic sequence for KSHV in tissue samples from people with KS who are HIV negative. The virus was noted in six samples from people with classic KS (usually found in elderly Mediterranean men), four from HIV-negative gay men, and 10 from Africans with endemic African KS.