Globally, almost 20% of cancers are related to infectious agents that can be prevented. Oncogenicity refers to viruses that may cause cancers, more importantly in immunocompromised subjects such as transplant and hemodialysis patients. Therefore, epidemiological studies are the first line for understanding the importance of these agents in public health, particularly, in mobile populations, tourism and pilgrimage regions.
Oncogenic viral infections, such as hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV) and Epstein-barr virus (EBV) are the most common viral agents in immunocompromised patients. Furthermore, human T lymphocyte virus type I (HTLV-I), due to endemicity in Khorasan Razavi province located northeast of Iran as a pilgrimage region, and Kaposi's sarcoma associated herpes virus (KSHV), as an oncogenic herpesvirus in immunocompromised subjects have been investigated among the general population and those with end-stage renal diseases (ESRD).
Patients and Methods:
A cross-sectional study was carried out among 1227 randomly selected individuals; 25 donors and 195 patients with ESRD, including 60 kidney transplant recipients and 135 dialysis patients from the Khorasan Razavi province, Iran. Serological tests were carried out using commercial enzyme-immunoassay kits. To confirm positive serology tests, the extracted viral DNA or RNA was examined for the presence of KSHV, HTLV-I and HCV by conventional PCR.
The prevalence of KSHV infection in the general population was 1.71% (21/1227); 2.60% (10/384) males and 1.30% (11/843) females. In kidney transplants, viral infections occurred in 23.3% of subjects; including EBV, HTLV-I and HBV-HCV co-infection in 8.3%, 3.3% and 1.7%, respectively. In patients on hemodialysis, viral infections were present in 29.6% including EBV, HTLV-I and HBV-HCV co-infection in 2.2%, 5.9% and 16.3%, respectively. Seroprevalence of KSHV in patients with kidney transplants was 1.7% and in patients on dialysis was 3.0%. Furthermore, KSHV and HTLV-I genome was detected in 25% and 100% of seropositive subjects, respectively.
In conclusion, this study demonstrated that these tumor virus infections including HTLV-I, KSHV and particularly hepatitis viruses (HBV plus HCV) are prevalent in the general population and in patients on hemodialysis, which might be an important health concern in this region due to the mobile population.