Lymphomatoid papulosis and human herpesviruses - A PCR-based evaluation for the presence of human herpesvirus 6, 7 and 8 and related herpesviruses

Werner Kempf*, Marshall E. Kadin, Heinz Kutzner, Carol L. Lord, Guenter Burg, Norman L. Letvin, Igor J. Koralnik

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Background: Lymphomatoid papulosis (LyP) is a chronic, recurrent lymphoproliferative disorder of the skin that belongs to the group of primary cutaneous CD30-positive T-cell lymphomas. Ultrastructural and clinical features of LyP suggest that it has a viral etiology. Human herpesviruses have been proposed as causative cofactors for LyP because of their oncogenic potential and their association with other lymphomas. Methods: LyP skin lesions and a LyP-derived cell line were examined for the presence of the recently discovered oncogenic human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8) and the two T-lymphotropic human herpesviruses 6 and 7 (HHV-6 and HHV-7) by nested polymerase chain reacuon (PCR) using virus-specific oligonucleotide primers. Furthermore, a recently described method involving degenerate PCR primers was applied to detect highly conserved DNA sequences shared by a variety of herpesviruses, especially oncogenic gamma-herpesviruses, in an attempt to identify a yet undiscovered herpesvirus associated with LyP. Results: HHV-6 and 8 could not be found in 26 archival and 11 snap-frozen LyP lesions and a LyP tumor cell line. HHV-7 DNA sequences were detected in 14% (5 of 37) of LyP samples. HHV-6 was found in 23% (3 of 13) and HHV-7 in 8% (1 of 13) of normal skin samples from healthy individuals, respectively. Using degenerate PCR primers to amplify the highly conserved polymerase region of herpesviruses, no DNA sequences related to human herpesviruses could be detected. Conclusions: LyP is not associated with HHV-6, HHV-7 and HHV-8. In addition, the studies using degenerate PCR primers do not indicate the presence of a previously undescribed human herpesvirus in LyP.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)29-33
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of cutaneous pathology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Histology


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