Development of an immunofluorescence assay using recombinant proteins expressed in insect cells to screen and confirm presence of human herpesvirus 8-specific antibodies

Veenu Minhas, Lynsey N. Crosby, Kay L. Crabtree, Saul Phiri, Tendai J. M'soka, Chipepo Kankasa, William J. Harrington, Charles D. Mitchell, Charles Wood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Scopus citations


Human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8), or Kaposi's sarcoma (KS)-associated herpesvirus, has been linked to all forms of KS. The results of most current serological assays for the detection of HHV-8-specific antibodies have low levels of concordance among themselves. To establish a sensitive and specific testing strategy that can be used to screen for HHV-8-specific antibodies, three HHV-8 proteins, ORF65, ORF73, and K8.1A, were expressed by using baculoviral vectors in insect cells and incorporated into a monoclonal antibody-enhanced immunofluorescence assay (mIFA) termed the Sf9 three-antigen mIFA. The results obtained by this mIFA were compared to those obtained by a standard mIFA with an HHV-8-infected B-cell line (BC3 mIFA). Test sera were obtained from patients diagnosed with KS, human immunodeficiency virus type 1-infected patients at high risk for HHV-8 infection, and healthy controls from a local blood bank. The combined use of both assays had a sensitivity of 94% and a specificity of 96%. The performance of these two assays when they were used together indicates that they may be useful for the reliable detection of HHV-8-specific immunoglobulin G antibodies in a population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1259-1264
Number of pages6
JournalClinical and Vaccine Immunology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2008


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Microbiology (medical)

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