Document Type

Journal Article

Date of this Version


Publication Source

Infectious Agents and Cancer



Start Page

Article 6





Ocular surface squamous neoplasia (OSSN) is a rare cancer that has increased in incidence with the HIV pandemic in Africa. The underlying cause of this cancer in HIV-infected patients from Botswana is not well defined.


Tissues were obtained from 28 OSSN and 8 pterygia patients. The tissues analyzed from OSSN patients were 83% positive for EBV, 75% were HPV positive, 70% were KSHV positive, 75% were HSV-1/2 positive, and 61% were CMV positive by PCR. Tissues from pterygium patients were 88% positive for EBV, 75% were HPV positive, 50% were KSHV positive, and 60% were CMV positive. None of the patients were JC or BK positive. In situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry analyses further identified HPV, EBV, and KSHV in a subset of the tissue samples.


We identified the known oncogenic viruses HPV, KSHV, and EBV in OSSN and pterygia tissues. The presence of these tumor viruses in OSSN suggests that they may contribute to the development of this malignancy in the HIV population. Further studies are necessary to characterize the molecular mechanisms associated with viral antigens and their potential role in the development of OSSN.

Copyright/Permission Statement

© 2010 Simbiri et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.



Date Posted: 28 July 2014

This document has been peer reviewed.