Similar immunological profiles between African endemic and human immunodeficiency virus type 1-associated epidemic Kaposi Sarcoma (KS) patients reveal the primary role of KS-associated herpesvirus in KS pathogenesis

Salum J. Lidenge, For Yue Tso, Owen Ngalamika, John R. Ngowi, Yasaman Mortazavi, Eun Hee Kwon, Danielle M. Shea, Veenu Minhas, Julius Mwaiselage, Charles Wood, John T. West

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


Background. Kaposi sarcoma (KS)-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) is etiologically linked to all KS forms, but mechanisms underlying KS development are unclear. Te incidence of KS in human immunodefciency virus type 1-infected (HIV-1+) individuals implicates immune dysregulation; however, the lack of characterization of KSHV immune responses in endemic KS makes the role of HIV-1 unclear. Te study objective was to investigate the HIV-1 and KSHV roles in viral nucleic acid detection, antibody responses, and cytokine responses in polymerase chain reaction-confrmed epidemic KS and endemic KS patients and non-cancer controls from sub-Saharan Africa. Methods. KSHV viral DNA (vDNA), total anti-KSHV antibody, KSHV neutralizing antibody (nAb), and cytokines were quantifed. Results. KSHV vDNA was detectable in tumors but variably in plasma and peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Consistent with elevated antibody-associated cytokines (interleukin [IL] 6, IL-5, and IL-10), nAb titers were higher in epidemic KS and endemic KS patients than in controls (P <.05). Despite HIV-1 coinfection in epidemic KS, nAb titers were similar between epidemic KS and endemic KS patients (P = 0.3). Conclusions. Similarities in antibody and cytokine responses between epidemic and endemic KS patients suggest that KSHV drives KS pathogenesis, whereas HIV-1 exacerbates it.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1318-1328
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number8
StatePublished - Apr 8 2019



  • Cytokines
  • KSHV
  • Kaposi sarcoma
  • Neutralizing antibody
  • Sub-Saharan Africa

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Infectious Diseases

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