What is it about?

The Kaposi Sarcoma Herpesvirus (KSHV) causes Kaposi Sarcoma (KS) and other cancers in humans. In Europe, KS patients are usually coinfected with HIV and an immunosuppressive virus, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). In contrast, the majority of KS patients in Africa is not coinfected with HIV, suggesting that genetic factors play a role in disease development in this patient group. KSHV-related viruses have also been discovered in diverse non-human primates but infected animals only develop disease upon immunosuppression. This manuscript describes the identification of a new KSHV-related virus in NHPs. The new virus, termed Colobine Gammaherpesvirus 1 (CbGHV-1), was detected in a mantled guereza with KS-like disease. The virus was present in cancerous tissue and the animal was not coinfected by an immunosuppressive virus. This suggests that infection of guererza monkeys with CbGHV-1 might be sufficient to cause KS.

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Why is it important?

We report the identification of a new virus provide evidence that NHP infection by this virus might be sufficient to cause KS - a finding that has not been made for other KSHV-related viruses/other NHP.


Experimental infection of guereza mith CbGHV-1 might allow establishment of a new animal model for KSHV infection of humans.

Professor Stefan Pöhlmann
German Primate Center

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This page is a summary of: Kaposi Sarcoma in Mantled Guereza, Emerging Infectious Diseases, August 2019, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), DOI: 10.3201/eid2508.181804.
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