To investigate transmission of human herpesvirus (HHV)–8, 2546 mother‐child pairs were recruited from rural clinics in South Africa and were tested for antibodies against lytic and latent HHV‐8 antigens. The prevalence of antibodies in children increased with increasing maternal antibody titer (lytic, χ<sub>1</sub><sup>2</sup>=26, and P1<sup>2</sup>=55, and PP50,000 copies/mL) in saliva (odds ratio, 2.6; 95% confidence interval, 1.1–6.2). The presence of HHV‐8 DNA in maternal saliva was unrelated to latent antibodies in children. Saliva could be a route of transmission of HHV‐8 from person to person, although other routes cannot be ruled out.
Journal of Infectious Diseases (2004) 190 (6), pp. 1068–1075 [DOI:10.1086/423326]