Journal of virological methods 2016 3 29() pii 10.1016/j.jviromet.2016.02.017
Porcine lymphotropic herpesviruses (PLHV-1, -2, and -3) are widespread in pigs and closely related to the human pathogenic gammaherpesviruses Epstein-Barr virus (human herpesvirus 4, HHV-4) and Kaposi sarcoma herpesvirus (HHV-8). In minipigs, PLHV-1 causes a porcine post-transplantation lymphoproliferative disorder (PTLD) after experimental transplantations. Porcine PTLD comes with clinical symptoms similar to those of human PTLD, a serious complication of solid organ and allogeneic bone marrow transplantation linked to HHV-4. Since PLHVs may be transmitted from donor pigs to the human recipient of xenotransplants (pig cells, tissues or organs), sensitive and specific methods should be developed to detect and eliminate PLHVs. Here we describe an ELISA and a Western blot assay using recombinant glycoprotein B of PLHV-1. Using both assays, the presence of specific antibodies in different pig breeds as well as in German slaughterhouse workers was analysed. Antibodies were detected in some animals, but not in human subjects.