Linking the Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV/HHV-8) to human malignancies

Methods Mol Biol. 2009:471:387-407. doi: 10.1007/978-1-59745-416-2_19.


In 1994, the Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV/HHV-8) was identified as the etiologic agent of Kaposi's sarcoma (KS). KSHV has since been associated with two additional malignancies: primary effusion lymphoma and multicentric Castleman's disease. In this chapter, we describe the current understanding of the pathogenesis, transmission, and prevalence of KSHV, and its association mainly with KS. We describe evidence demonstrating that KSHV is a causative agent for KS, and we present other factors that possibly contribute to the incidence of KS. We compare worldwide data on the prevalence of KS and of KSHV infection. Specific viral genes that may induce KS tumors or enable their growth also are described. Finally, we discuss the implications of the transmission modes and epidemiology of this virus on recommendations for KSHV screening of tissues and blood products before transplantation or transfusion.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Castleman Disease / pathology
  • Castleman Disease / virology
  • Herpesvirus 8, Human / physiology*
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions
  • Humans
  • Lymphoma, Primary Effusion / pathology
  • Lymphoma, Primary Effusion / virology
  • Sarcoma, Kaposi / pathology
  • Sarcoma, Kaposi / virology*