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Br J Cancer. 1991 August; 64(2): 227–232.
PMCID: PMC1977506

Viral involvement in Hodgkin's disease: detection of clonal type A Epstein-Barr virus genomes in tumour samples.


Thirty-five cases of Hodgkin's disease (HD) were analysed for the presence of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and human herpesvirus-6 (HHV-6) DNA. EBV genomes were detected in 11/35 cases while none of the cases was positive for HHV-6. Ten of the EBV-positive cases were subsequently analysed using a probe for the terminal region of the virus; the results suggested that the EBV-infected cells were clonally expanded. EBV subtypes specific DNA amplification was used to demonstrate that EBV subtype A, and not subtype B was present in the EBV-positive cases. The age distribution of the EBV-positive cases indicated a statistically significant trend for an increase in positivity with increasing age. This is the first indication that EBV is significantly associated with any subset of HD patients.

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