[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Kaposi's sarcoma (KS) and lymphoproliferative diseases induced by KS-associated herpesvirus (KSHV/human herpesvirus 8) cause substantial morbidity and mortality in human immunodeficiency virus-infected individuals. To understand KSHV biology it is useful to investigate closely related rhadinoviruses naturally occurring in nonhuman primates. Here we report evidence for a novel KSHV homolog in captive baboon species (Papio anubis and other). Using degenerate PCR we identified a novel rhadinovirus, PapRV2, that has substantial sequence identity to two essential KSHV genes, the viral polymerase and thymidylate synthase. A subset of animals exhibited detectable PapRV2 viral load in peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Extensive serological analysis of nearly 200 animals in the colony demonstrated that the majority carried cross-reacting antibodies that recognize KSHV or macaque rhadinovirus antigens. Seroreactivity increased with age, similar to the age-specific prevalence of KSHV in the human population. This establishes baboons as a novel resource to investigate rhadinovirus biology, which can be developed into an animal model system for KSHV-associated human diseases, vaccine development, and therapy evaluation.
Journal of Virology 08/2003; 77(14):8159-65. · 5.08 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Epidemiologic studies of infection with the oncogenic human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8) depend on serologic methods to diagnose infection. However, optimal strategies for identifying HHV-8 infection remain undefined. We therefore evaluated four enzyme-linked immunoassays (EIAs) and one immunofluorescence assay (IFA) using sera from 87 individuals with the prototype HHV-8 disease, Kaposi's sarcoma (KS), and 210 participants in a hemophilia study (who were presumed not to be infected with HHV-8). Assays performed reasonably well in distinguishing between infected and uninfected persons, with receiver operator curve areas between 0.86 and 0.96. Nonetheless, IFA had only 86% sensitivity and 88% specificity, and no EIA simultaneously had sensitivity and specificity above 90% for any of the optical density (OD) cutpoints used to define seropositivity. Some assays were markedly less sensitive with diluted KS sera, suggesting that they poorly identify low-titer antibodies present in asymptomatic infection. We also developed a classification tree that categorized individuals as seropositive if they had OD > 2.00 on recombinant K8.1 protein EIA or if they had both K8.1 OD between 0.51 and 2.00 and positive IFA results; this strategy had between 80% and 90% sensitivity and 95% and 100% specificity. Overall, assays performed adequately for use in most epidemiologic investigations, but wider applications will require improved tests.