Experimental transmission of Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV/HHV-8) to SIV-positive and SIV-negative rhesus macaques

J Med Primatol. 2004 Feb;33(1):1-9. doi: 10.1046/j.1600-0684.2003.00043.x.


Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) is a gamma-herpesvirus associated with Kaposi's sarcoma (KS) and two lymphoproliferative diseases, primary effusion lymphoma (PEL) and multicentric Castleman's disease. Studies on the biology and pathogenesis of KSHV have been limited by lack of efficient cell culture systems and lack of a suitable animal model for KS. Here we report on the experimental inoculation of SIV-positive and SIV-negative rhesus macaques with KSHV-infected PEL cells or KSHV preparations derived from PEL cells. Low levels of viral DNA could be detected in cultivated peripheral blood mononuclear cell of all animals, as well as in the bone marrow of one monkey that died from SAIDS. However, we were not able to detect KSHV-specific antibodies or transcripts, nor did we observe any symptoms clearly related to KSHV infection (e.g. KS or lympho-proliferative disease). Hence, although KSHV replicates in rhesus macaques at very low levels, this non-human primate host is unlikely to provide a useful animal model for disease.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Viral / blood
  • DNA Primers
  • DNA, Viral / blood
  • Disease Models, Animal*
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Herpesviridae Infections / transmission*
  • Herpesvirus 8, Human / genetics*
  • Herpesvirus 8, Human / growth & development*
  • Macaca mulatta / virology*
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Simian Immunodeficiency Virus / immunology


  • Antibodies, Viral
  • DNA Primers
  • DNA, Viral