The restricted cellular host range of human herpesvirus 8

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DesignA selection of primary and transformed cell types were evaluated for their susceptibility to infection with human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8)/Kaposi's sarcoma- associated herpesvirus.MethodsSources of HHV-8 included Kaposi's sarcoma lesion punch biopsies that were either cocultured directly with target cells or that were first cocultured with human lymphocytes to derive HHV-8-containing fluids that were inoculated onto target cells. HHV-8 was also obtained from primary effusion lymphoma-derived cell lines. Techniques to detect infection included the PCR, immunofluorescence assays and in situ hybridization.ResultsSusceptible cells included human umbilical cord blood mononuclear cells (UCMC), adult CD19 B cells, macrophages and certain endothelial cells of human and animal origin, including some that are transformed with human papilloma virus type 16 E6 and E7 genes. The infection of lymphocytes did not yield established lymphoblastoid cell lines (LCL) and virus infection persisted for only 4–7 days. However, long-term HHV-8 infection of UCMC could be achieved by coinfection with Epstein–Barr virus. HHV-8 could also infect UCMC LCL recently derived by Epstein–Barr virus transformation, but long-established LCL could not be infected with HHV-8.ConclusionsThese data provide further biological evidence in cell culture for the limited cellular host range of HHV-8 to CD19 B cells, macrophages, and certain endothelial cells.

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