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Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) is an emerging pathogen and the causative agent of multiple cancers in immunocompromised patients. To date, there is no licensed prophylactic KSHV vaccine. In this study, we generated a novel subunit vaccine that incorporates four key KSHV envelope glycoproteins required for viral entry in diverse cell types (gpK8.1, gB, and gH/gL) into a single multivalent KSHV-like particle (KSHV-LP). Purified KSHV-LPs were similar in size, shape, and morphology to KSHV virions. Vaccination of rabbits with adjuvanted KSHV-LPs generated strong glycoprotein-specific antibody responses, and purified immunoglobulins from KSHV-LP-immunized rabbits neutralized KSHV infection in epithelial, endothelial, fibroblast, and B cell lines (60–90% at the highest concentration tested). These findings suggest that KSHV-LPs may be an ideal platform for developing a safe and effective prophylactic KSHV vaccine. We envision performing future studies in animal models that are susceptible to KSHV infection, to determine correlates of immune protection in vivo.


NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Vaccine. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Vaccine, volume 37, issue 30, in 2019.

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