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Ketosis-Prone Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus and Human Herpesvirus 8 Infection in Sub-Saharan Africans

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Eugene Sobngwi


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Context: An atypical form of type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM-2) is revealed by ketosis (ketosis-prone type 2 diabetes mellitus), frequently occurring in individuals who are black and of African origin, and characterized by an acute onset requiring transient insulin therapy. Its sudden onset suggests precipitating factors. Objective: To investigate the putative role of human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8) in the pathogenesis of ketosis-prone DM-2. Design, Setting, and Participants: A cross-sectional study in which antibodies were searched against latent and lytic HHV-8 antigens using immunofluorescence. The presence of HHV-8 in genomic DNA was investigated in 22 of the participants at clinical onset of diabetes. We also tested whether HHV-8 was able to infect human pancreatic β cells in culture in vitro. The study was conducted at Saint-Louis University Hospital, Paris, France, from January 2004 to July 2005. All participants were black and of African origin: 187 were consecutive diabetic patients of whom 81 had ketosis-prone DM-2 and 106 had nonketotic DM-2, and 90 individuals were nondiabetic control participants who were matched for age and sex. Main Outcome Measures: Seroprevalence of HHV-8 and percentage of patients with HHV-8 viremia at onset in ketosis-prone DM-2. Results: HHV-8 antibodies were found in 71 patients (87.7%) with ketosis-prone DM-2 vs 16 patients (15.1%) with nonketotic DM-2 (odds ratio, 39.9; 95% confidence interval, 17.1-93.4; P < .001) and 36 of the control participants (40.0%) (odds ratio, 10.7; 95% confidence interval, 4.9-23.4; P < .001). 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 nonketotic DM-2. HHV-8 proteins were present in human islet cells that were cultured for 4 days in the presence of HHV-8. Conclusions: In this preliminary cross-sectional study, the presence of HHV-8 antibodies was associated with ketosis-prone DM-2 in patients of sub-Saharan African origin. Longitudinal studies are required to understand the clinical significance of these findings. ©2008 American Medical Association. All rights reserved.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Sobngwi E, Choukem SP, Agbalika F, Blondeau B, Fetita L-S, Lebbe C, Thiam D, Cattan P, Larghero J, Foufelle F, Ferre P, Vexiau P, Calvo F, Gautier J-F

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of the American Medical Association

Year: 2008

Volume: 299

Issue: 23

Pages: 2770-2776

ISSN (print): 0098-7484

ISSN (electronic): 1538-3598

Publisher: American Medical Association


DOI: 10.1001/jama.299.23.2770

PubMed id: 18560004


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