Non-Human Primate Model of Kaposi's Sarcoma-Associated Herpesvirus Infection

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Non-Human Primate Model of Kaposi's Sarcoma-Associated Herpesvirus Infection

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Title: Non-Human Primate Model of Kaposi's Sarcoma-Associated Herpesvirus Infection
Author: Chang, Heesoon; Lee, Jong-Soo; Lee, Hye-Ra; Vieira, Jeffrey; Wachtman, Lynn M; Pearson, Christine B; Lee, Steven H; Mansfield, Keith G.; Jung, Jae Ung

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Citation: Chang, Heesoon, Lynn M. Wachtman, Christine B. Pearson, Jong-Soo Lee, Hye-Ra Lee, Steven H. Lee, Jeffrey Vieira, Keith G. Mansfield, and Jae U. Jung. 2009. Non-human primate model of Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus infection. PLoS Pathogens 5(10): e1000606.
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Abstract: Since Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV or human herpesvirus 8) was first identified in Kaposi's sarcoma (KS) lesions of HIV-infected individuals with AIDS, the basic biological understanding of KSHV has progressed remarkably. However, the absence of a proper animal model for KSHV continues to impede direct in vivo studies of viral replication, persistence, and pathogenesis. In response to this need for an animal model of KSHV infection, we have explored whether common marmosets can be experimentally infected with human KSHV. Here, we report the successful zoonotic transmission of KSHV into common marmosets (Callithrix jacchus, Cj), a New World primate. Marmosets infected with recombinant KSHV rapidly seroconverted and maintained a vigorous anti-KSHV antibody response. KSHV DNA and latent nuclear antigen (LANA) were readily detected in the peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) and various tissues of infected marmosets. Remarkably, one orally infected marmoset developed a KS-like skin lesion with the characteristic infiltration of leukocytes by spindle cells positive for KSHV DNA and proteins. These results demonstrate that human KSHV infects common marmosets, establishes an efficient persistent infection, and occasionally leads to a KS-like skin lesion. This is the first animal model to significantly elaborate the important aspects of KSHV infection in humans and will aid in the future design of vaccines against KSHV and anti-viral therapies targeting KSHV coinfected tumor cells.
Published Version: doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1000606
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