Comparison of Humoral Immune Responses to Epstein-Barr Virus and Kaposi’s Sarcoma–Associated Herpesvirus Using a Viral Proteome Microarray

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Background. Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is a ubiquitous herpesvirus, and Kaposi’s sarcoma–associated herpesvirus (KSHV) has a restricted seroprevalence. Both viruses are associated with malignancies that have an increased frequency in individuals who are coinfected with human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1).

Methods. To obtain an overview of humoral immune responses to these viruses, we generated a protein array that displayed 174 EBV and KSHV polypeptides purified from yeast. Antibody responses to EBV and KSHV were examined in plasma from healthy volunteers and patients with B cell lymphoma or with AIDS-related Kaposi’s sarcoma or lymphoma.

Results. In addition to the commonly studied antigens, IgG responses were frequently detected to the tegument proteins KSHV ORF38 and EBV BBRF and BGLF2 and BNRF1 and to the EBV early lytic proteins BRRF1 and BORF2. The EBV vIL-10 protein was particularly well recognized by plasma IgA. The most intense IgG responses to EBV antigens occurred in HIV-1–positive patients. No clear correlation was observed between viral DNA load in plasma and antibody profile.

Conclusions. The protein array provided a sensitive platform for global screening; identified new, frequently recognized viral antigens; and revealed a broader humoral response to EBV compared with KSHV in the same patients.

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