Simian retroperitoneal fibromatosis (RF) is a vascular fibroproliferative neoplasm which has many morphological and histological similarities to human Kaposi's sarcoma (KS). Like epidemic KS in AIDS patients, RF is highly associated with an immunodeficiency syndrome (simian acquired immunodeficiency syndrome [SAIDS]) caused by a retrovirus infection. Recently, a new gammaherpesvirus, called Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) or human herpesvirus 8 (HHV8), has been identified in KS tumors, suggesting that KS has a viral etiology. Our previous experimental transmission studies and epidemiological data suggest that RF also has an infectious etiology. In order to determine whether a similar virus is also associated with RF, we have assayed for the presence of an unknown herpesvirus using degenerate PCR primers targeting the highly conserved DNA polymerase genes of the herpesvirus family. Here we provide DNA sequence evidence for two new herpesviruses closely related to KSHV from RF tissues of two macaque species, Macaca nemestrina and Macaca mulatta. Our data suggest that KSHV and the putative macaque herpesviruses define a new group within the subfamily Gammaherpesvirinae whose members are implicated in the pathogenesis of KS and KS-like neoplasms in different primate species
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