Having certain type of herpes virus antibodies linked with form of diabetes in sub-Saharan Africans

Jun 17, 2008

Researchers have found an association between the presence of antibodies for the virus human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8) and an atypical form of type 2 diabetes in persons from sub-Saharan Africa, according to a preliminary study in the June 18 issue of JAMA.

Since 1987, an atypical type of diabetes has emerged as one of the most frequent forms of diabetes in populations of African origin, ketosis-prone type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM-2). Ketosis is the condition of having ketone bodies (byproducts of fat metabolism) build up in body tissues and fluids. This type of diabetes is characterized by sudden onset, suggesting there may be triggering factors, according to background information in the article.

"In this study, we hypothesized that ketosis-prone DM-2 may be associated with a viral infection, which may also be the acute and reversible precipitating phenomenon. Indeed, viruses may induce both insulin resistance and insulin secretory defect," the authors write. "Because of the acute onset of ketosis-prone DM-2 and the high prevalence of ketosis-prone DM-2 in populations of African origin, we searched for a virus that is commonly found in this population." HHV-8 is endemic in sub-Saharan Africa with 30 percent to 60 percent of adults having markers of HHV-8 infection.

Eugène Sobngwi, M.D., Ph.D., of Hôpital Saint-Louis, Paris, and colleagues tested the hypothesis that HHV-8 infection is associated with ketosis-prone DM-2. The study was conducted at Saint-Louis University Hospital in Paris from January 2004 to July 2005. All participants were black and of African origin: 187 were diabetic patients of whom 81 had ketosis-prone DM-2 and 106 had non-ketotic DM-2, and an additional 90 individuals were non-diabetic control participants who were matched for age and sex. The presence of HHV-8 in genomic DNA was investigated in 22 of the participants at clinical onset of diabetes.

HHV-8 antibodies were found in 71 patients (87.7 percent) with ketosis-prone DM-2 vs. 16 patients (15.1 percent) with non-ketotic DM-2, and 36 of the control participants (40.0 percent). HHV-8 in genomic DNA was present in 6 of 13 patients with ketosis-prone DM-2 tested at acute onset and in 0 of 9 patients with non-ketotic DM-2.

"Our preliminary study shows a strong link between ketosis-prone DM-2 phenotype and markers of HHV-8 infection. Patients with ketosis-prone DM-2 have a very high prevalence of HHV-8 infection, whereas patients with non-ketotic DM-2 have a much lower prevalence of HHV-8 infection when compared with the background population. Thus, the prevalence of HHV-8 seropositivity is almost 6-fold higher in patients with ketosis-prone DM-2 compared with non-ketotic DM-2 patients," the authors write.

"These results need to be replicated in other populations and longitudinal studies are required to understand the clinical significance of these findings."

Source: JAMA and Archives Journals

Explore further: Ebola in mind, US colleges screen some students

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Earthquakes over 5 magnitude shake Iceland volcano

6 hours ago

Two earthquakes measuring over 5 in magnitude—the biggest yet—have shaken Iceland's Bardarbunga volcano after the country issued an aviation red alert warning that an ash-emitting eruption may be imminent.

Airlines on alert as eruption begins in Iceland

20 hours ago

Iceland's Bardarbunga volcano burst forth with a small eruption Saturday under the ice of Europe's largest glacier, scientists said, prompting the country to close airspace over the area.

Two Galileo satellites lose their way

23 hours ago

Two European Galileo satellites launched as part of a navigation system designed to rival GPS have failed to locate their intended orbit, launch firm Arianespace said Saturday.

Recommended for you

Ebola in mind, US colleges screen some students

1 hour ago

University students from West Africa may be subject to extra health checks when they arrive to study in the United States as administrators try to insulate their campuses from the worst Ebola outbreak in ...

Senegal confirms its first case of Ebola (Update)

1 hour ago

A man infected with Ebola traveled to Senegal, becoming the first recorded in this country of an outbreak that has hit four other West African countries and has killed more than 1,500 people, the Ministry ...

WHO: More Ebola cases in past week than any other

2 hours ago

The past week has seen the highest increase of Ebola cases since the outbreak in West Africa began, the World Health Organization said Friday, offering more evidence that the crisis is worsening.

Guidelines presented for diagnosing focal liver lesions

17 hours ago

(HealthDay)—Focal liver lesions (FLLs) are mostly benign, and can be diagnosed based on knowledge of their presentation, associated clinical and laboratory features, and natural history, according to clinical ...

User comments : 0