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Infect Agents Dis. 1996 Oct;5(4):215-22.

Kaposi's Sarcoma (KS)-associated herpesvirus and its role in KS.

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Department of Pathology, Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons, New York, NY 10032, USA.


Epidemiologic studies have long suggested that Kaposi's sarcoma (KS) is caused by a sexually transmissible infectious agent. A new, and presumably human, herpesvirus, Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV/HHV-8), has been detected in KS lesions from AIDS patients by sequence-based detection techniques. KSHV is present in almost all KS lesions from all forms of KS. The virus is a Rhadinovirus or gamma-2 herpesvirus most closely related to Herpesvirus saimiri (HVS), and possesses several genes that may allow it to modify its host cell environment. KSHV has been isolated in vitro with immortalized B cell lines derived from a second malignancy associated with KSHV, body cavity-based lymphomas (BCBL). Epidemiologic studies performed to date indicate that KSHV, unlike other human herpesviruses (HHV), is not ubiquitous. The growing body of evidence indicates that KSHV is a potent oncogenic herpesvirus and the likely infectious cause of KS and BCBL.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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