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J Clin Virol. 2000 May;16(3):253-69.

Two distinct lineages of macaque gamma herpesviruses related to the Kaposi's sarcoma associated herpesvirus.

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Department of Pathobiology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA.



KSHV, Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus, is a necessary cofactor for the development of Kaposi's sarcoma (KS). We have previously reported KSHV-related DNA sequences in retroperitoneal fibromatosis (RF) tissue from two species of macaque. The putative herpesvirus was called RFHV for RF-associated herpesvirus. These data suggested that KSHV is a human representative of a larger family of primate herpesviruses.


To identify and characterize other members of a putative family of KSHV-related herpesviruses in macaques in order to obtain information on the evolutionary history of KSHV infection in humans.


Lymphoid tissue cells and blood leukocytes from rhesus-, cynomolgus- and pigtailed-macaques were tested for the presence of unknown herpesviruses using degenerate primer-driven PCR amplification. The sequences obtained were compared against known herpesvirus sequences.


We have identified new herpesvirus DNA sequences in each of the three macaque species. Sequence comparisons indicate that these new viruses are most related to each other and form a separate phylogenetic lineage within the gamma herpesviruses. Screening of PBMC from Indonesian-origin quarantine animals suggests that these viruses (MGV, macaque gamma virus) are species-specific, and highly prevalent in the wild. They are readily cultured in vivo, and share a common tissue tropism with the previously identified RFHV.


MGV and RFHV represent two independent introductions of an ancestral gamma herpesvirus into macaque precursors.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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