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Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) also known as human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8), is linked to several human malignancies including Kaposi sarcoma (KS), primary effusion lymphoma (PEL), multicentric Castleman’s disease (MCD) and recently KSHV inflammatory cytokine syndrome (KICS). As with other diseases that have a significant inflammatory component, current therapy for KSHV-associated disease is associated with significant off-target effects. However, recent advances in our understanding of the pathogenesis of KSHV have produced new insight into the use of cytokines as potential therapeutic targets. Better understanding of the role of cytokines during KSHV infection and tumorigenesis may lead to new preventive or therapeutic strategies to limit KSHV spread and improve clinical outcomes. The cytokines that appear to be promising candidates as KSHV antiviral therapies include interleukins 6, 10, and 12 as well as interferons and tumor necrosis factor-family cytokines. This review explores our current understanding of the roles that cytokines play in promoting KSHV infection and tumorigenesis, and summarizes the current use of cytokines as therapeutic targets in KSHV-associated diseases.


This article was originally published in Viruses in 2020.


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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.



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