Association between Immunoglobulin E Levels and Kaposi Sarcoma in African Adults with Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection

Helen Byakwaga, Arturo Barbachano-Guerrero, Dongliang Wang, Shane Mcallister, Kamal Naphri, Miriam Laker-Oketta, Conrad Muzoora, Peter W. Hunt, Jeffrey Martin, Christine A. King

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


It has been demonstrated that activated mast cells (MCs) are enriched in Kaposi sarcoma (KS) tumors and contribute to the inflammatory microenvironment. Mechanisms driving MC activation, however, are incompletely understood. We sought to understand whether immunoglobulin E (IgE), a potent activator of MCs, was associated with KS incidence and severity. In a cross-sectional study of untreated human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected adults with or without KS in Uganda, we found that patients with KS had higher plasma IgE levels than those without KS. After adjustment for age, sex, CD4+ T-cell count, and HIV RNA levels, there was a dose-response relationship between plasma IgE levels and the presence and severity of KS. Higher eosinophil counts were also associated with IgE levels, and plasma interleukin 33 concentrations were higher in individuals with KS. These findings suggest that IgE-driven atopic inflammation may contribute the pathogenesis of KS. Therapies targeting IgE-mediated MC activation thus might represent a novel approach for treatment or prevention of KS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)101-108
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 4 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 The Author(s). Published by Oxford University Press for the Infectious Diseases Society of America. All rights reserved.


  • Africa
  • HIV
  • IL-33
  • Immunoglobulin E (IgE)
  • KSHV
  • Kaposi sarcoma
  • mast cell

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


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