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Kumar P, Kuwa NY, Minhas V, Marimo C, Shea DM, et al. (2013) Higher Levels of Neutralizing Antibodies against KSHV in KS Patients Compared to Asymptomatic Individuals from Zambia. PLoS ONE 8(8): e71254. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0071254.


Copyright 2013 Kumar et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) is the etiologic agent for Kaposi Sarcoma (KS), the most common cancer diagnosed in HIV- infected patients. The role of neutralizing antibodies in KS pathogenesis and in KSHV infected individuals is not clearly understood. The goal of this study was to investigate and compare the prevalence and titers of neutralizing antibodies in plasma samples from KS patients and KSHV infected asymptomatic individuals from Zambia, a KS endemic region in sub-Saharan Africa. Plasma samples (N = 267) consisting of KS patients (group 1) and asymptomatic individuals (group 2) were collected from Lusaka, Zambia. A flow cytometry based quantitative neutralization assay utilizing recombinant KSHV expressing GFP was used to detect KSHV neutralizing antibodies. Our results show that the overall prevalence of neutralizing antibodies in KS patients (group 1) was 66.7% which was significantly higher than the prevalence of 6.5% present in KSHV infected asymptomatic individuals (group 2). Total antibody titers as well as neutralizing antibodies titers were found to be significantly higher among KS patients. It is likely that higher neutralizing antibodies prevalence and titers in KS patients result from higher levels of antigenic stimulation over time. This study is first to compare prevalence and titers of neutralizing antibodies in participants with and without disease from a KSHV endemic region.