Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus: Clinical, diagnostic, and epidemiological aspects

Adina Cohen, Dana G. Wolf, Emma Guttman-Yassky, Ronit Sarid

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38 Scopus citations


Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) is one of the few viruses proven to be associated with tumorigenesis in humans. Its causal association with all clinical and epidemiological variants of Kaposi's sarcoma (KS) is well established. KSHV is also involved in the pathogenesis of primary effusion lymphoma (PEL) and a subset of multicentric Castleman's disease (MCD). Possible associations of KSHV with other clinical settings have been extensively examined. The findings from several of these studies are contradictory and are yet to be resolved. Concentrated effort over the last decade, since the initial discovery of KSHV, led to the development of several experimental systems that resulted in a better comprehension of the biological characteristics of KSHV and set the stage for the understanding of mechanisms by which diseases are induced by the virus. The development of molecular, histological, and serological tools for KSHV diagnosis allowed researchers to track the transmission and to study the epidemiology of KSHV. These assays have been applied, in particular in ambiguous cases, in order to confirm clinically and pathologically based diagnoses. Here, we review the advances in the clinical, experimental, diagnostic, and epidemiological research of KSHV.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-153
Number of pages53
JournalCritical Reviews in Clinical Laboratory Sciences
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2005

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Mrs. Avrille Goldreich for preparation of the manuscript. Work in Ronit Sarid’s laboratory was supported by the Association for International Cancer Research (AICR) and the Middle East Cancer Consortium (MECC).


  • Human herpesvirus 8
  • Kaposi's sarcoma
  • Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus
  • Multicentric Castleman's disease
  • Primary effusion lymphoma


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