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1.  Spectrum of Epstein-Barr virus-associated T-cell lymphoproliferative disorder in adolescents and young adults in Taiwan 
Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) is a herpesvirus usually infecting B-cells but may occasionally infect T- or natural killer (NK)-cells. EBV-associated T- or NK-cell lymphoproliferations represent a continuous spectrum of diseases ranging from asymptomatic infection, infectious mononucleosis (IM), to clonal and malignant lymphoproliferations including systemic EBV-positive T/NK-cell lymphoproliferative disease (EBV-T/NK-LPD) of childhood and hydroa-vacciniforme-like lymphoma of the skin. The clonal diseases are more prevalent in East Asia and exhibit overlapping clinical and pathological features with chronic active EBV infection. Here we report our experience on 10 cases of EBV-associated T-cell lymphoproliferation from Taiwan including five males and five females with a median age of 18 years old (range, 15-28). The most common clinical symptoms were fever, neck mass and hepatosplenomegaly. Eight of these patients showed elevated lactate dehydrogenase level and half of the patients had cytopenia. All patients had either elevated EBV antibody titers or increased serum EBV DNA levels. Five cases were clinically IM-like with polyclonal (3 cases) or clonal (2 cases) T-cell lymphoproliferation. Two patients each had chronic active EBV infection (CAEBV) and hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH). One patient had both CAEBV and HLH. One of the HLH patients with marrow infiltration by intra-sinusoidal large atypical lymphocytes experienced a fulminant course. In a median follow-up time of 21.5 months, seven patients were free of disease, one was alive with disease, and two died of disease in 31 and 3 months, respectively, despite chemotherapy. We confirmed a wide clinicopathological range of EVB-associated T-cell lymphoproliferation in Taiwan. Furthermore, monomorphic LPD and the single case with fulminant course as defined by Ohshima et al (Pathol Int 2018) as categories A3 and B, respectively, died of disease despite chemotherapy. Our report, the largest series in the recent decade from Taiwan, adds to the understanding of these rare diseases with variable clinical and histopathological presentations.
PMCID: PMC4069894  PMID: 24966953
Epstein-Barr virus; hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis; infectious mononucleosis; systemic T/natural killer-cell lymphoproliferative disease; T/natural killer-cell lymphoproliferation; Taiwan
2.  Epstein–Barr Virus-Positive T/NK-Cell Lymphoproliferative Disorders Manifested as Gastrointestinal Perforations and Skin Lesions 
Medicine  2016;95(5):e2676.
Systemic Epstein–Barr virus (EBV)-positive T-cell lymphoproliferative disorders (LPDs) of childhood is a highly aggressive EBV-positive T/natural killer (NK)-cell LPD, which emerges in the background of chronic active EBV infection (CAEBV) or shortly after primary acute EBV infection. The clinical presentations of CAEBV are varied; patients with atypical manifestations are easily misdiagnosed. We described a 14-year-old boy suffering from digestive disorders and intermittent fever for 1 year and 9 months, whose conditions worsened and skin lesions occurred 2 months before hospitalization. He was diagnosed as inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) and treated accordingly. His other clinical features, hepatosplenomegaly, lymphadenopathy, anemia, hypoalbuminemia, and elevated inflammatory marks, were found in hospitalization. The boy suffered from repeatedly spontaneous intestinal perforations shortly after hospitalization and died of intestinal hemorrhea. The pathological results of intestine and skin both showed EBV-positive T/NK-cell LPD (lymphoma stage).
There are rare studies reporting gastrointestinal perforations in EBV-positive T/NK-cell LPD, let alone repeatedly spontaneous perforations. Based on the clinical features and pathological results of this patient, the disease progressed from CAEBV (T-cell type) to systemic EBV-positive T-cell LPD of childhood (lymphoma). Not all the patients with CAEBV could have unusual patterns of anti-EBV antibodies. However, the presence of high EBV loads (EBV-encoded early small ribonucleic acid (RNA) (EBER) in affected tissues and/or EBV deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) in peripheral blood) is essential for diagnosing CAEBV. Maybe because of his less common clinical features for CAEBV and negative anti-EBV antibodies, the boy was not diagnosed correctly. We should have emphasized the test for EBER or EBV-DNA. Meanwhile, for the IBD patients whose manifestations were not typical, and whose conditions were not improved by suitable therapies against IBD, infectious and malignant diseases should be considered.
PMCID: PMC4748919  PMID: 26844502
3.  Transcriptional profiling of Epstein–Barr virus (EBV) genes and host cellular genes in nasal NK/T-cell lymphoma and chronic active EBV infection 
British Journal of Cancer  2006;94(4):599-608.
Nasal NK/T-cell lymphoma is an aggressive subtype of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) that is closely associated with Epstein–Barr virus (EBV). The clonal expansion of EBV-infected NK or T cells is also seen in patients with chronic active EBV (CAEBV) infection, suggesting that two diseases might share a partially similar mechanism by which EBV affects host cellular gene expression. To understand the pathogenesis of EBV-associated NK/T-cell lymphoproliferative disorders (LPD) and design new therapies, we employed a novel EBV DNA microarray to compare patterns of EBV expression in six cell lines established from EBV-associated NK/T-cell LPD. We found that expression of BZLF1, which encodes the immediate-early gene product Zta, was expressed in SNK/T cells and the expression levels were preferentially high in cell lines from CAEBV infection. We also analyzsd the gene expression patterns of host cellular genes using a human oligonucleotide DNA microarray. We identified a subset of pathogenically and clinically relevant host cellular genes, including TNFRSF10D, CDK2, HSPCA, IL12A as a common molecular biological properties of EBV-associated NK/T-cell LPD and a subset of genes, such as PDCD4 as a putative contributor for disease progression. This study describes a novel approach from the aspects of viral and host gene expression, which could identify novel therapeutic targets in EBV-associated NK/T-cell LPD.
PMCID: PMC2361178  PMID: 16449999
Epstein Barr virus; nasal NK/T-cell lymphoma; EBV DNA microarray; CAEBV infection
4.  EBV-Positive T/NK-Cell Lymphoproliferative Disease of Childhood 
Korean Journal of Pathology  2013;47(2):137-147.
Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-associated hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH), EBV-positive systemic T-cell lymphoproliferative disease (STLPD) of childhood, and chronic active EBV (CAEBV) infection may develop after primary EBV infection. This study reviewed the clinicopathological spectrum of EBV-associated T- and natural killer (NK)-cell LPD, including STLPD and CAEBV infection, with an analysis of T-cell clonality.
Clinicopathological features of seven patients with EBV-associated HLH or STLPD and 12 patients with CAEBV infection were reviewed. Immunohistochemical staining and a T-cell receptor (TCR) gene rearrangement study were performed.
STLPD and EBV-positive HLH showed significantly overlapping clinicopathological findings. One patient with STLPD and one patient with EBV-positive HLH demonstrated moderate to severe atypia of the infiltrating lymphocytes, whereas the remaining patients lacked significant atypia. Twelve patients had CAEBV infection, four of whom suffered mosquito-bite hypersensitivity, five showed NK lymphocytosis, and one suffered hydroa vacciniforme. Infiltrating lymphocytes were predominantly small and devoid of atypia. Hemophagocytic histiocytosis was found in seven of 11 patients. Monoclonality was detected in three (50%) of the six patients with successful TCR gene analysis.
EBV-positive HLH and STLPD share similar clinicopathological findings and may constitute a continuous spectrum of acute EBV-associated T- or NK-cell proliferative disorders. The distinction of EBV-positive T-cell LPD from EBV-positive HLH may be difficult during routine diagnoses because of the technical limitations of clonality assessment.
PMCID: PMC3647126  PMID: 23667373
Epstein-Barr virus infections; Lymphoma, T-cell; Killer cells, natural; Lymphoproliferative disorders; Clonality
5.  Epstein–Barr virus-associated lymphoproliferative disease in non-immunocompromised hosts: a status report and summary of an international meeting, 8–9 September 2008 
Annals of Oncology  2009;20(9):1472-1482.
Background: Recently novel Epstein–Barr virus (EBV) lymphoproliferative diseases (LPDs) have been identified in non-immunocompromised hosts, both in Asia and Western countries. These include aggressive T-cell and NK-cell LPDs often subsumed under the heading of chronic active Epstein–Barr virus (CAEBV) infection and EBV-driven B-cell LPDs mainly affecting the elderly.
Design: To better define the pathogenesis, classification, and treatment of these disorders, participants from Asia, The Americas, Europe, and Australia presented clinical and experimental data at an international meeting.
Results: The term systemic EBV-positive T-cell LPD, as adopted by the WHO classification, is preferred as a pathological classification over CAEBV (the favored clinical term) for those cases that are clonal. The disease has an aggressive clinical course, but may arise in the background of CAEBV. Hydroa vacciniforme (HV) and HV-like lymphoma represent a spectrum of clonal EBV-positive T-cell LPDs, which have a more protracted clinical course; spontaneous regression may occur in adult life. Severe mosquito bite allergy is a related syndrome usually of NK cell origin. Immune senescence in the elderly is associated with both reactive and neoplastic EBV-driven LPDs, including EBV-positive diffuse large B-cell lymphomas.
Conclusion: The participants proposed an international consortium to facilitate further clinical and biological studies of novel EBV-driven LPDs.
PMCID: PMC2731018  PMID: 19515747
chronic active EBV infection; diffuse large B-cell lymphoma; hemophagocytic syndrome; hydroa vacciniforme; immune senescence; senile EBV-positive lymphoproliferative disease; systemic EBV-positive lymphoproliferative disease
6.  Clinicopathological characteristics of four cases of EBV positive T-cell lymphoproliferative disorders of childhood in China 
A new category, “EBV positive T-cell lymphoproliferative disorders (LPD) of childhood”, was proposed in the 2008 World Health Organization’s (WHO) classifications of lymphoma. This series of lymphoproliferative disorders is rare. There are two major types of this series of disorders: systemic EBV positive T-cell LPD of childhood and hydroa vacciniforme-like lymphoma (HVLL). In this study, we describe the distinct features of four cases of EBV positive T-cell LPD of childhood in China. Two were systemic EBV positive T-cell LPD of childhood, one was HVLL and one was chronic active EBV (CAEBV). The main manifestations were lymphadenopathy, fever, hepatosplenomegaly and skin rashes. The structure of the lymph nodes in the patients ranged from preserved to partially or totally destroyed. Small- to medium-sized, atypical T cells had infiltrated the lymph nodes. In HVLL, the neoplastic cells had infiltrated the dermis and subcutaneous region surrounding sweat glands and nerves. All of the cases tested positive for CD8, other T cells, cytotoxic markers and EBV-encoded RNA (EBER) without CD56 expression. Molecular analysis was performed in three cases. All of the three analyses showed a TCRγ rearrangement and one case also had an IGH rearrangement. One of the patients with systemic EBV positive T-cell LPD of childhood experienced rapid evolved and died within five months of onset. CAEBV, systemic EBV-positive T-cell LPD of childhood and HVLL are distinct but overlapping diseases within the category of EBV-positive T-cell LPD of childhood. They constitute a continuous spectrum of EBV-infected associated disorders.
PMCID: PMC4152060  PMID: 25197370
Epstein-Barr virus; T cells; lymphoproliferative disease; pediatric
7.  EBV Chronic Infections 
The infection from Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) or virus of infectious mononucleosis, together with other herpes viruses’ infections, represents a prototype of persistent viral infections characterized by the property of the latency. Although the reactivations of the latent infection are associated with the resumption of the viral replication and eventually with the “shedding”, it is still not clear if this virus can determine chronic infectious diseases, more or less evolutive. These diseases could include some pathological conditions actually defined as “idiopathic”and characterized by the “viral persistence” as the more credible pathogenetic factor. Among the so-called idiopathic syndromes, the “chronic fatigue syndrome” (CFS) aroused a great interest around the eighties of the last century when, just for its relationship with EBV, it was called “chronic mononucleosis” or “chronic EBV infection”.
Today CFS, as defined in 1994 by the CDC of Atlanta (USA), really represents a multifactorial syndrome characterized by a chronic course, where reactivation and remission phases alternate, and by a good prognosis. The etiopathogenetic role of EBV is demonstrated only in a well-examined subgroup of patients, while in most of the remaining cases this role should be played by other infectious agents - able to remain in a latent or persistent way in the host – or even by not infectious agents (toxic, neuroendocrine, methabolic, etc.). However, the pathogenetic substrate of the different etiologic forms seems to be the same, much probably represented by the oxidative damage due to the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines as a response to the triggering event (infectious or not infectious).
Anyway, recently the scientists turned their’s attention to the genetic predisposition of the subjects affected by the syndrome, so that in the last years the genetic studies, together with those of molecular biology, received a great impulse. Thanks to both these studies it was possibile to confirm the etiologic links between the syndrome and EBV or other herpesviruses or other persistent infectious agents.
The mechanisms of EBV latency have been carefully examined both because they represent the virus strategy to elude the response of the immune system of the host, and because they are correlated with those oncologic conditions associated to the viral persistence, particularly lymphomas and lymphoproliferative disorders. Just these malignancies, for which a pathogenetic role of EBV is clearly documented, should represent the main clinical expression of a first group of chronic EBV infections characterized by a natural history where the neoplastic event aroused from the viral persistence in the resting B cells for all the life, from the genetic predisposition of the host and from the oncogenic potentialities of the virus that chronically persists and incurs reactivations.
Really, these oncological diseases should be considered more complications than chronic forms of the illness, as well as other malignancies for which a viral – or even infectious - etiology is well recognized. The chronic diseases, in fact, should be linked in a pathogenetic and temporal way to the acute infection, from whom start the natural history of the following disease. So, as for the chronic liver diseases from HBV and HCV, it was conied the acronym of CAEBV (Chronic Active EBV infection), distinguishing within these pathologies the more severe forms (SCAEBV) mostly reported in Far East and among children or adolescents. Probably only these forms have to be considered expressions of a chronic EBV infection “sensu scrictu”, together with those forms of CFS where the etiopathogenetic and temporal link with the acute EBV infection is well documented. As for CFS, also for CAEBV the criteria for a case definition were defined, even on the basis of serological and virological findings. However, the lymphoproliferative disorders are excluded from these forms and mantain their nosographic (e.g. T or B cell or NK type lymphomas) and pathogenetic collocation, even when they occur within chronic forms of EBV infection. In the pathogenesis, near to the programs of latency of the virus, the genetic and environmental factors, independent from the real natural history of EBV infection, play a crucial role.
Finally, it was realized a review of cases - not much numerous in literature – of chronic EBV infection associated to chronic liver and neurological diseases, where the modern techniques of molecular biology should be useful to obtain a more exact etiologic definition, not always possibile to reach in the past.
The wide variety of clinical forms associated to the EBV chronic infection makes difficult the finding of a univocal pathogenetic link. There is no doubt, however, that a careful examination of the different clinical forms described in this review should be useful to open new horizons to the study of the persistent viral infections and the still not well cleared pathologies that they can induce in the human host.
PMCID: PMC3033110  PMID: 21415952
8.  Novel Mouse Xenograft Models Reveal a Critical Role of CD4+ T Cells in the Proliferation of EBV-Infected T and NK Cells 
PLoS Pathogens  2011;7(10):e1002326.
Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), a ubiquitous B-lymphotropic herpesvirus, ectopically infects T or NK cells to cause severe diseases of unknown pathogenesis, including chronic active EBV infection (CAEBV) and EBV-associated hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (EBV-HLH). We developed xenograft models of CAEBV and EBV-HLH by transplanting patients' PBMC to immunodeficient mice of the NOD/Shi-scid/IL-2Rγnull strain. In these models, EBV-infected T, NK, or B cells proliferated systemically and reproduced histological characteristics of the two diseases. Analysis of the TCR repertoire expression revealed that identical predominant EBV-infected T-cell clones proliferated in patients and corresponding mice transplanted with their PBMC. Expression of the EBV nuclear antigen 1 (EBNA1), the latent membrane protein 1 (LMP1), and LMP2, but not EBNA2, in the engrafted cells is consistent with the latency II program of EBV gene expression known in CAEBV. High levels of human cytokines, including IL-8, IFN-γ, and RANTES, were detected in the peripheral blood of the model mice, mirroring hypercytokinemia characteristic to both CAEBV and EBV-HLH. Transplantation of individual immunophenotypic subsets isolated from patients' PBMC as well as that of various combinations of these subsets revealed a critical role of CD4+ T cells in the engraftment of EBV-infected T and NK cells. In accordance with this finding, in vivo depletion of CD4+ T cells by the administration of the OKT4 antibody following transplantation of PBMC prevented the engraftment of EBV-infected T and NK cells. This is the first report of animal models of CAEBV and EBV-HLH that are expected to be useful tools in the development of novel therapeutic strategies for the treatment of the diseases.
Author Summary
Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is a ubiquitous human herpesvirus that infects more than 90% of the adult human population in the world. EBV usually infects B lymphocytes and does not produce symptoms in infected individuals, but in rare occasions it infects T or NK lymphocytes and causes severe diseases such as chronic active EBV infection (CAEBV) and EBV-associated hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (EBV-HLH). We developed mouse models of these two human diseases in which EBV-infected T or NK lymphocytes proliferate in mouse tissues and reproduce human pathologic conditions such as overproduction of small proteins called “cytokines” that produce inflammatory responses in the body. These mouse models are thought to be very useful for the elucidation of the pathogenesis of CAEBV and EBV-HLH as well as for the development of therapeutic strategies for the treatment of these diseases. Experiments with the models demonstrated that a subset of lymphocytes called CD4-positive lymphocytes are essential for the proliferation of EBV-infected T and NK cells. This result implies that removal of CD4-positive lymphocytes or suppression of their functions may be an effective strategy for the treatment of CAEBV and EBV-HLH.
PMCID: PMC3197618  PMID: 22028658
9.  Relationship between Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and blood levels of Epstein-Barr Virus in children in north-western Tanzania: a case control study 
BMC Pediatrics  2013;13:4.
Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphomas (NHL) are common in African children, with endemic Burkitt’s lymphoma (BL) being the most common subtype. While the role of Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) in endemic BL is known, no data are available about clinical presentations of NHL subtypes and their relationship to Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection and Epstein Barr Virus (EBV) load in peripheral blood of children in north-western, Tanzania.
A matched case control study of NHL subtypes was performed in children under 15 years of age and their respective controls admitted to Bugando Medical Centre, Sengerema and Shirati district designated hospitals in north-western, Tanzania, between September 2010 and April 2011. Peripheral blood samples were collected on Whatman 903 filter papers and EBV DNA levels were estimated by multiplex real-time PCR. Clinical and laboratory data were collected using a structured data collection tool and analysed using chi-square, Fisher and Wilcoxon rank sum tests where appropriate. The association between NHL and detection of EBV in peripheral blood was assessed using conditional logistic regression model and presented as odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI).
A total of 35 NHL cases and 70 controls matched for age and sex were enrolled. Of NHLs, 32 had BL with equal distribution between jaw and abdominal tumour, 2 had large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL) and 1 had NHL-not otherwise specified (NHL-NOS). Central nervous system (CNS) presentation occurred only in 1 BL patient; 19 NHLs had stage I and II of disease. Only 1 NHL was found to be HIV-seropositive. Twenty-one of 35 (60%) NHL and 21 of 70 (30%) controls had detectable EBV in peripheral blood (OR = 4.77, 95% CI 1.71 – 13.33, p = 0.003). In addition, levels of EBV in blood were significantly higher in NHL cases than in controls (p = 0.024).
BL is the most common childhood NHL subtype in north-western Tanzania. NHLs are not associated with HIV infection, but are strongly associated with EBV load in peripheral blood. The findings suggest that high levels of EBV in blood might have diagnostic and prognostic relevance in African children.
PMCID: PMC3547779  PMID: 23294539
Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma; Children; HIV; EBV
10.  Role of latent membrane protein 1 in chronic active Epstein–Barr virus infection-derived T/NK-cell proliferation 
Cancer Medicine  2014;3(4):787-795.
Epstein–Barr virus (EBV) predominantly infects B cells and causes B-cell lymphomas, such as Burkitt lymphoma and Hodgkin lymphoma. However, it also infects other types of cells, including T and natural killer (NK) cells, and causes disorders, such as chronic active EBV infection (CAEBV) and T/NK-cell lymphoma. The CAEBV is a lymphoproliferative disease with poor prognosis, where EBV-positive T or NK cells grow rapidly, although the molecular mechanisms that cause the cell expansion still remain to be elucidated. EBV-encoded latent membrane protein 1 (LMP1) is an oncogene that can transform some cell types, such as B cells and mouse fibroblasts, and thus may stimulate cell proliferation in CAEBV. Here, we examined the effect of LMP1 on EBV-negative cells using the cells conditionally expressing LMP1, and on CAEBV-derived EBV-positive cells by inhibiting the function of LMP1 using a dominant negative form of LMP1. We demonstrated that LMP1 was responsible for the increased cell proliferation in the cell lines derived from CAEBV, while LMP1 did not give any proliferative advantage to the EBV-negative cell line.
PMCID: PMC4303147  PMID: 24799376
AKT; CAEBV; dominant negative; LMP1; NFκB
11.  Epstein-Barr virus-driven lymphomagenesis in the context of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 infection 
Epstein–Barr virus (EBV) is a ubiquitous human γ-herpes virus which establishes a life-long asymptomatic infection in immunocompetent hosts. In human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infected patients, the impaired immunosurveillance against EBV may favor the development of EBV-related diseases, ranging from lymphoproliferative disorders to B cell non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas (NHL). Antiretroviral therapy (ART) has significantly modified the natural course of HIV-1 infection, resulting in decreased HIV-1 plasmaviremia, increased CD4 lymphocytes, and decreased opportunistic infections, indicating a restoration of immune functions. However, the impact of ART appears to be less favorable on EBV-related malignancies than on other AIDS-defining tumors, such as Kaposi’s sarcoma, and NHL remains the most common cancer during the ART era. EBV-driven tumors are associated with selective expression of latent oncogenic proteins, but uncontrolled lytic cycle with virus replication and/or reactivation may favor cell transformation, at least in the early phases. Several host’s factors may promote EBV reactivation and replication; besides immunodepression, inflammation/chronic immune stimulation may play an important role. Microbial pathogen-associated molecular patterns and endogenous damage-associated molecular patterns, through Toll-like receptors, activate the immune system and may promote EBV reactivation and/or polyclonal expansion of EBV-infected cells. A body of evidence suggests that chronic immune stimulation is a hallmark of HIV-1 pathogenesis and may persist even in ART-treated patients. This review focuses on lymphomagenesis driven by EBV both in the context of the natural history of HIV-1 infection and in ART-treated patients. Understanding the mechanisms involved in the expansion of EBV-infected cells is a premise for the identification of prognostic markers of EBV-associated malignancies.
PMCID: PMC3799006  PMID: 24151490
EBV; HIV-1; B cell activation; chronic immune activation; EBV-related malignancies; antiretroviral therapy; EBV lytic reactivation
12.  The ambiguous boundary between EBV-related hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis and systemic EBV-driven T cell lymphoproliferative disorder 
Epstein Barr virus (EBV)-related hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (EBV-HLH) is a form of acquired, infection-related HLH which typically represents a fulminant presentation of an acute EBV infection of CD8+ T cells with 30-50% mortality rate. Systemic EBV-positive lymphoproliferative disease of childhood (SE-LPD) is a rare T cell lymphoproliferative disorder predominantly arising in the setting of acute EBV infection, often presenting with HLH. Since both entities have been associated with clonal T cell populations, the discrimination between these diseases is often ambiguous. We report a unique case of a 21 years old female who presented with clinical and laboratory findings of florid HLH in the setting of markedly elevated EBV titers (>1 million) and an aberrant T cell population shown to be clonal by flow cytometry, karyotype, and molecular studies. This case raises the differential of EBV-HLH versus SE-LPD. Review of the literature identified 74 cases of reported EBV-HLH and 21 cases of SE-LPD with associated HLH in 25 studies. Of those cases with available outcome data, 62 of 92 cases (67%) were fatal. Of 60 cases in which molecular clonality was demonstrated, 37 (62%) were fatal, while all 14 cases (100%) demonstrating karyotypic abnormalities were fatal. Given the karyotypic findings in this sentinel case, a diagnosis of SE-LPD was rendered. The overlapping clinical and pathologic findings suggest that EBV-HLH and SE-LPD are a biologic continuum, rather than discrete entities. The most clinically useful marker of mortality was an abnormal karyotype rather than other standards of clonality assessment.
PMCID: PMC4203186  PMID: 25337215
Systemic EBV-positive lymphoproliferative disease of childhood; EBV-related HLH; clonal EBV-related HLH; atypical T cell population; EBV-related T cell lymphoma
13.  Characterization of variants in the promoter of BZLF1 gene of EBV in nonmalignant EBV-associated diseases in Chinese children 
Virology Journal  2010;7:92.
Diseases associated with Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infections, such as infectious mononucleosis (IM), EBV-associated hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (EBV-HLH) and chronic active EBV infection (CAEBV) are not rare in Chinese children. The association of type 1 or type 2 EBV and variants of the EBV BZLF1 promoter zone (Zp) with these diseases is unclear.
The objective of this study was to investigate the relationship between EBV genotypes (Zp variants and EBV type 1 and 2) and the clinical phenotypes of EBV-associated diseases in Chinese children. The Zp region was directly sequenced in 206 EBV-positive DNA samples from the blood of patients with IM, EBV-HLH, CAEBV, and healthy controls. Type 1 or type 2 EBV was examined by PCR for EBNA2 and EBNA3C subtypes. Four polymorphic Zp variants were identified: Zp-P, Zp-V3, Zp-P4 and Zp-V1, a new variant. The Zp-V3 variant was significantly associated with CAEBV (P ≤ 0.01). The frequency of co-infection with Zp variants was higher in patients with CAEBV and EBV-HLH, compared with IM and healthy controls, mostly as Zp-P+V3 co-infection. Type 1 EBV was predominant in all categories (81.3-95%) and there was no significant difference in the frequency of the EBV types 1 and 2 in different categories (P > 0.05).
Type 1 EBV and BZLF1 Zp-P of EBV were the predominant genotypes in nonmalignant EBV associated diseases in Chinese children and Zp-V3 variant may correlates with the developing of severe EBV infection diseases, such as CAEBV and EBV-HLH.
PMCID: PMC2879250  PMID: 20459737
14.  Knockout of Epstein-Barr Virus BPLF1 Retards B-Cell Transformation and Lymphoma Formation in Humanized Mice 
mBio  2015;6(5):e01574-15.
BPLF1 of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is classified as a late lytic cycle protein but is also found in the viral tegument, suggesting its potential involvement at both initial and late stages of viral infection. BPLF1 possesses both deubiquitinating and deneddylating activity located in its N-terminal domain and is involved in processes that affect viral infectivity, viral DNA replication, DNA repair, and immune evasion. A recently constructed EBV BPLF1-knockout (KO) virus was used in conjunction with a humanized mouse model that can be infected with EBV, enabling the first characterization of BPLF1 function in vivo. Results demonstrate that the BPLF1-knockout virus is approximately 90% less infectious than wild-type (WT) virus. Transformation of human B cells, a hallmark of EBV infection, was delayed and reduced with BPLF1-knockout virus. Humanized mice infected with EBV BPLF1-knockout virus showed less weight loss and survived longer than mice infected with equivalent infectious units of WT virus. Additionally, splenic tumors formed in 100% of mice infected with WT EBV but in only 25% of mice infected with BPLF1-KO virus. Morphological features of spleens containing tumors were similar to those in EBV-induced posttransplant lymphoproliferative disease (PTLD) and were almost identical to cases seen in human diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. The presence of EBV genomes was detected in all mice that developed tumors. The results implicate BPLF1 in human B-cell transformation and tumor formation in humanized mice.
Epstein-Barr virus infects approximately 90% of the world’s population and is the causative agent of infectious mononucleosis. EBV also causes aggressive lymphomas in individuals with acquired and innate immune disorders and is strongly associated with diffuse large B-cell lymphomas, classical Hodgkin lymphoma, Burkitt lymphoma, and nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC). Typically, EBV initially infects epithelial cells in the oropharynx, followed by a lifelong persistent latent infection in B-cells, which may develop into lymphomas in immunocompromised individuals. This work is the first of its kind in evaluating the effects of EBV’s BPLF1 in terms of pathogenesis and lymphomagenesis in humanized mice and implicates BPLF1 in B-cell transformation and tumor development. Currently, there is no efficacious treatment for EBV, and therapeutic targeting of BPLF1 may lead to a new path to treatment for immunocompromised individuals or transplant recipients infected with EBV.
PMCID: PMC4620474  PMID: 26489865
15.  EBV in situ hybridization study for non-Hodgkin's lymphomas. 
Epstein-Barr virus(EBV) has been implicated in the pathogenesis of B-lymphoproliferative disorders, T-cell lymphomas and Hodgkin's disease. In this report, we performed an in situ hybridization study on EBV genome in 10 cases of nasal non-Hodgkin's lymphoma(NHL), 20 cases of Waldeyer's ring(WR) NHL, and 20 cases of nodal NHLs to document EBV association with lymphomas in Koreans. For immunophenotyping, monoclonal antibodies for CD 20, MB 2, CD 45Ro & CD 43 were used. For in situ hybridization study, EBV DNA probe for Bam HI 'V' fragment and EBV RNA probe for EBER and BHLF were used. Twenty two cases(44%) of malignant lymphomas were positive for EBV genome. Generally, T-cell lymphomas showed a higher positive rate(61%) than B-cell lymphomas(24%). Among T-cell lymphomas, nasal lymphomas showed a higher positive rate(80%) than WR(50%) or nodal lymphomas(50%). Of 22 EBV genome positive cases, 10 cases were positive for EBER, 10 cases for BHLF, and 2 cases for both EBER and BHLF. The histologic types by Working Formulation(WF) were not correlated with EBV genome positive rate, whereas lymphomas showing the histologic spectrum of polymorphic reticulosis(PR) showed a higher positive rate(65%) than lymphomas without PR-like features(40%). These results indicate that nasal T-cell lymphomas with the histologic spectrum of PR are strongly associated with EBV and that the anatomic site may be an important factor in this association.
PMCID: PMC3054072  PMID: 7993589
16.  The Epstein-Barr virus lytic protein BZLF1 as a candidate target antigen for vaccine development1 
Cancer immunology research  2015;3(7):787-794.
The Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is an oncogenic, γ-herpesvirus associated with a broad spectrum of disease. While most immune-competent individuals can effectivley develop efficient adaptive immune responses to EBV, immunocompromised individuals are at serious risk for developing life threatening diseases such as Hodgkin’s lymphoma and post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorder (PTLD). Given the significant morbidity associated with EBV infection in high-risk populations, there is a need to develop vaccine strategies that restore or enhance EBV-specific immune responses. Here, we identify the EBV immediate-early protein BZLF1 as a potential target antigen for vaccine development. Primary tumors from patients with PTLD and a chimeric human-murine model of EBV-driven lymphoproliferative disorder (EBV-LPD) express BZLF1 protein. Pulsing human dendritic cells (DC) with recombinant BZLF1 followed by incubation with autologous mononuclear cells led to expansion of BZLF1-specific CD8(+) T cells in vitro and primed BZLF1-specific T-cell responses in vivo. In addition, vaccination of hu-PBL-SCID mice with BZLF1-transduced DCs induced specific cellular immunity and significantly prolonged survival from fatal EBV-LPD. These findings identify BZLF1 as a candidate target protein in the immunosurveillance of EBV and provide rationale for considering BZLF1 in vaccine strategies to enhance primary and recall immune responses and potentially prevent EBV-associated diseases.
PMCID: PMC4491000  PMID: 25735952
EBV; BZLF1; Vaccination; Tumor Immunity; Post-transplant lymphoproliferative disease
17.  Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) detection and typing by PCR: a contribution to diagnostic screening of EBV-positive Burkitt's lymphoma 
Diagnostic Pathology  2006;1:17.
Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is associated to the etio-pathogenesis of an increasing number of tumors. Detection of EBV in pathology samples is relevant since its high prevalence in some cancers makes the virus a promising target of specific therapies. RNA in situ hybridization (RISH) is the standard diagnostic procedure, while polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based methods are used for strain (EBV type-1 or 2) distinction. We performed a systematic comparison between RISH and PCR for EBV detection, in a group of childhood B-cell Non-Hodgkin lymphomas (NHL), aiming to validate PCR as a first, rapid method for the diagnosis of EBV-associated B-cell NHL.
EBV infection was investigated in formalin fixed paraffin-embedded tumor samples of 41 children with B-cell NHL, including 35 Burkitt's lymphoma (BL), from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, by in situ hybridization of EBV-encoded small RNA (EBER-RISH) and PCR assays based on EBNA2 amplification.
EBV genomes were detected in 68% of all NHL. Type 1 and 2 accounted for 80% and 20% of EBV infection, respectively. PCR and RISH were highly concordant (95%), as well as single- and nested-PCR results, allowing the use of a single PCR round for diagnostic purposes. PCR assays showed a sensitivity and specificity of 96% and 100%, respectively, with a detection level of 1 EBV genome in 5,000–10,000 EBV-negative cells, excluding the possibility of detecting low-number EBV-bearing memory cells.
We describe adequate PCR conditions with similar sensitivity and reliability to RISH, to be used for EBV diagnostic screening in high grade B-NHL, in "at risk" geographic regions.
PMCID: PMC1559641  PMID: 16893464
18.  Adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma with EBV-positive Hodgkin-like cells 
Human pathology  2011;42(7):1042-1046.
Hodgkin-like cells (HLC) have been described in a variety of non-Hodgkin lymphomas (NHL) including chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and peripheral T-cell lymphoma (PTCL). There have been rare reports in the Japanese population of human T-cell lymphotrophic virus-1 (HTLV-1)-associated adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma (ATLL) harboring HLC; however, no similar cases have been described in western patients. We report a 53-year-old African-American man that presented with progressive weakness and lethargy, and was found to have generalized lymphadenopathy and hypercalcemia. A lymph node biopsy showed involvement by ATLL with scattered Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-positive cells, some of which resembled Hodgkin cells that had a B-cell phenotype, consistent with an Epstein-Barr virus-lymphoproliferative disorder (LPD). The patient had stage 4 disease with bone marrow involvement. In light of the associated B-cell lymphoproliferative process, the patient was treated with six cycles of intensive chemotherapy that targeted both the ATLL and the EBV-LPD that resulted in a complete response. An awareness of the association of EBV-LPD with Hodgkin-like cells in the context of ATLL is necessary to avoid potential misdiagnosis and to aid in therapeutic decisions.
PMCID: PMC3118938  PMID: 21315416
Adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma; Epstein-Barr virus; flow cytometry; Hodgkin-like; human T-cell lymphotrophic virus-1; immunohistochemistry
19.  HIV Patients Developing Primary CNS Lymphoma Lack EBV-Specific CD4+ T Cell Function Irrespective of Absolute CD4+ T Cell Counts 
PLoS Medicine  2007;4(3):e96.
In chronic HIV infection, antiretroviral therapy–induced normalization of CD4+ T cell counts (immune reconstitution [IR]) is associated with a decreased incidence of opportunistic diseases. However, some individuals remain at risk for opportunistic diseases despite prolonged normalization of CD4+ T cell counts. Deficient Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-specific CD4+ T cell function may explain the occurrence of EBV-associated opportunistic malignancy—such as primary central nervous system (PCNS) lymphoma—despite recovery of absolute CD4+ T cell counts.
Methods and Findings
Absolute CD4+ T cell counts and EBV-specific CD4+ T cell-dependent interferon-γ production were assessed in six HIV-positive individuals prior to development of PCNS lymphoma (“cases”), and these values were compared with those in 16 HIV-infected matched participants with no sign of EBV-associated pathology (“matched controls”) and 11 nonmatched HIV-negative blood donors. Half of the PCNS lymphoma patients fulfilled IR criteria (defined here as CD4+ T cell counts ≥500/μl blood). EBV-specific CD4+ T cells were assessed 0.5–4.7 y prior to diagnosis of lymphoma. In 0/6 cases versus 13/16 matched controls an EBV-specific CD4+ T cell response was detected (p = 0.007; confidence interval for odds ratio [0–0.40]). PCNS lymphoma patients also differed with regards to this response significantly from HIV-negative blood donors (p < 0.001, confidence interval for odds ratio [0–0.14]), but there was no evidence for a difference between HIV-negative participants and the HIV-positive matched controls (p = 0.47).
Irrespective of absolute CD4+ T cell counts, HIV-positive patients who subsequently developed PCNS lymphoma lacked EBV-specific CD4+ T cell function. Larger, ideally prospective studies are needed to confirm these preliminary data, and clarify the impact of pathogen-specific versus surrogate marker-based assessment of IR on clinical outcome.
In a case-control study from the Swiss HIV cohort, Hess and colleagues report that T-helper responses against Epstein-Barr virus are specifically absent in patients developing CNS lymphoma.
Editors' Summary
AIDS causes disease by inactivating the body's immune responses. Most severely affected are the white blood cells known as T lymphocytes, particularly the CD4+ T cells that recognize infection and enable other cells of the immune system to respond. Advanced HIV infection, marked by very low numbers of CD4+ cells, is associated with a variety of infections and tumors that are rarely seen in people with intact immune systems. People with advanced HIV who receive highly active antiretroviral treatment (HAART) tend to have increases in their CD4+ cell counts and lose their susceptibility to these so-called opportunistic infections and cancers. For several common opportunistic infections, it is considered safe to discontinue preventive antibiotics after a patient's total CD4+ cell count has returned to normal levels on HAART. Some treated individuals, however, will develop these conditions even after their CD4+ cell counts have returned to normal levels. The reason this happens is unclear.
Why Was This Study Done?
For several years, scientists have speculated that susceptibility to a given opportunistic infection might be due not simply to low total CD4+ cells, but to loss of the specific CD4+ cells that recognize the infection in question. If this theory is correct, then those individuals who develop an opportunistic condition after their total CD4+ cell counts return to normal might be missing the specific cells that respond to the microbe causing the condition. The researchers wanted to test this theory in HIV patients with a brain tumor called primary central nervous system lymphoma (PCNS lymphoma). The Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), which causes mononucleosis in the general population, has been shown to be a cause of PCNS lymphoma in people with AIDS.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers studied patients who developed PCNS lymphoma while enrolled in the Swiss HIV Cohort, an ongoing study that has enrolled more than 14,000 people. A large cohort was needed to address this question because PCNS lymphoma is uncommon, and indeed only six patients with a confirmed diagnosis were identified. Because they had been followed as part of the cohort study, these patients had given blood samples that could be tested in retrospect. Three of these patients had low CD4+ cell counts prior to lymphoma diagnosis and three had normal CD4+ cell counts, but CD4 responses specifically against EBV were absent or very low in all six patients before they were diagnosed with PCNS lymphoma. The researchers also studied a comparison group of cohort participants with comparable CD4+ cell counts but no PCNS lymphoma, and found that 13/16 of those participants did have CD4 responses to EBV.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These results support the idea that the action of EBV-specific CD4+ cells, rather than a given level of total CD4+ cells, is needed to prevent PCNS lymphoma. Because only a small number of cases were identified, this must be considered a preliminary result. Given the rarity of PCNS lymphoma, however, especially in people receiving HAART, it seems unlikely that a larger cohort will be available in the near future to provide a more definitive conclusion. Based on this result, it may be useful to perform similar studies of other opportunistic infections. If a “gap” in the CD4+ cell response can be shown to increase the risk of a specific condition, it may become appropriate to test specific CD4 responses before deciding to discontinue preventive treatment as CD4+ cell counts increase on HAART.
Additional Information.
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at
Read the accompanying Perspective by Mark Jacobson, MD
The Swiss Cohort Study Web site contains information on related research projects
The UCSF Center for HIV Information's HIV InSite includes resources on HIV immunology and opportunistic infections
PMCID: PMC1831733  PMID: 17388662
20.  Epstein-Barr Virus-associated lymphoproliferative disorders: experimental and clinical developments 
Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV), the first human virus related to oncogenesis, was initially identified in a Burkitt lymphoma cell line in 1964. EBV infects over 90% of the world’s population. Most infected people maintain an asymptomatic but persistent EBV infection lifelong. However, in some individuals, EBV infection has been involved in the development of cancer and autoimmune disease. Nowadays, oncogenic potential of EBV has been intensively studied in a wide range of human neoplasms, including Hodgkin’s lymphoma (HL), non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL), nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC), gastric carcinoma (GC), etc. EBV encodes a series of viral protein and miRNAs, promoting its persistent infection and the transformation of EBV-infected cells. Although the exact role of EBV in the oncogenesis remains to be clarified, novel diagnostic and targeted therapeutic approaches are encouraging for the management of EBV-related malignancies. This review mainly focuses on the experimental and clinical advances of EBV-associated lymphoproliferative disorders.
PMCID: PMC4658837  PMID: 26628948
EBV; lymphoproliferative disorders; microRNA; oncogenisis; signaling pathway; targeted therapy
21.  Epstein-Barr Virus Type 2 Latently Infects T Cells, Inducing an Atypical Activation Characterized by Expression of Lymphotactic Cytokines 
Journal of Virology  2014;89(4):2301-2312.
Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is a well-established B-cell-tropic virus associated with various lymphoproliferative diseases of both B-cell and non-B-cell origin. EBV is associated with a number of T-cell lymphomas; however, in vitro studies utilizing prototypical EBV type 1 (EBV-1) laboratory strains have generally failed to readily infect mature T cells in culture. The difficulties in performing in vitro T-cell experiments have left questions regarding the role of EBV in the pathogenesis of EBV-positive T-cell lymphoproliferative diseases largely unresolved. We report here that the EBV type 2 (EBV-2) strain displays a unique cell tropism for T cells. In remarkable contrast to EBV-1, EBV-2 readily infects primary T cells in vitro, demonstrating a propensity for CD8+ T cells. EBV-2 infection of purified T cells results in expression of latency genes and ultimately leads to T-cell activation, substantial proliferation, and profound alteration of cytokine expression. The pattern of cytokine production is strikingly skewed toward chemokines with roles in lymphocyte migration, demonstrating that EBV-2 has the ability to modulate normal T-cell processes. Collectively, these novel findings identify a previously unknown cell population potentially utilized by EBV-2 to establish latency and lay the foundation for further studies to elucidate the role of EBV in the pathogenesis of T-cell lymphoproliferative diseases.
IMPORTANCE The ability of EBV to infect T cells is made apparent by its association with a variety of T-cell lymphoproliferative disorders. However, studies to elucidate the pathogenic role of EBV in these diseases have been limited by the inability to conduct in vitro T-cell infection experiments. Here, we report that EBV-2 isolates, compromised in the capacity to immortalize B cells, infect CD3+ T cells ex vivo and propose a working model of EBV-2 persistence where alteration of T-cell functions resulting from EBV-2 infection enhances the establishment of latency in B cells. If indeed EBV-2 utilizes T cells to establish a persistent infection, this could provide one mechanism for the association of EBV with T-cell lymphomas. The novel finding that EBV-2 infects T cells in culture will provide a model to understand the role EBV plays in the development of T-cell lymphomas.
PMCID: PMC4338898  PMID: 25505080
22.  Soluble Rhesus Lymphocryptovirus gp350 Protects against Infection and Reduces Viral Loads in Animals that Become Infected with Virus after Challenge 
PLoS Pathogens  2011;7(10):e1002308.
Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is a human lymphocryptovirus that is associated with several malignancies. Elevated EBV DNA in the blood is observed in transplant recipients prior to, and at the time of post-transplant lymphoproliferative disease; thus, a vaccine that either prevents EBV infection or lowers the viral load might reduce certain EBV malignancies. Two major approaches have been suggested for an EBV vaccine- immunization with either EBV glycoprotein 350 (gp350) or EBV latency proteins (e.g. EBV nuclear antigens [EBNAs]). No comparative trials, however, have been performed. Rhesus lymphocryptovirus (LCV) encodes a homolog for each gene in EBV and infection of monkeys reproduces the clinical, immunologic, and virologic features of both acute and latent EBV infection. We vaccinated rhesus monkeys at 0, 4 and 12 weeks with (a) soluble rhesus LCV gp350, (b) virus-like replicon particles (VRPs) expressing rhesus LCV gp350, (c) VRPs expressing rhesus LCV gp350, EBNA-3A, and EBNA-3B, or (d) PBS. Animals vaccinated with soluble gp350 produced higher levels of antibody to the glycoprotein than those vaccinated with VRPs expressing gp350. Animals vaccinated with VRPs expressing EBNA-3A and EBNA-3B developed LCV-specific CD4 and CD8 T cell immunity to these proteins, while VRPs expressing gp350 did not induce detectable T cell immunity to gp350. After challenge with rhesus LCV, animals vaccinated with soluble rhesus LCV gp350 had the best level of protection against infection based on seroconversion, viral DNA, and viral RNA in the blood after challenge. Surprisingly, animals vaccinated with gp350 that became infected had the lowest LCV DNA loads in the blood at 23 months after challenge. These studies indicate that gp350 is critical for both protection against infection with rhesus LCV and for reducing the viral load in animals that become infected after challenge. Our results suggest that additional trials with soluble EBV gp350 alone, or in combination with other EBV proteins, should be considered to reduce EBV infection or virus-associated malignancies in humans.
Author Summary
Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is the primary cause of infectious mononucleosis and is associated with several cancers. Presently there is no licensed vaccine to prevent EBV diseases. Two types of candidate vaccines are under development; one involves immunization with the major glycoprotein (gp350) on the outside of the virus, while the other involves vaccination with EBV proteins expressed during latency. We compared these two types of candidate vaccines in a rhesus monkey model of EBV and found that the gp350 vaccine induced better protection from infection. In addition, animals that received the rhesus EBV glycoprotein and became infected had a lower level of rhesus EBV DNA in the blood at 23 months after challenge than animals that received the rhesus EBV latency protein vaccine that subsequently were infected. Since levels of EBV DNA in the blood have been predictive for EBV lymphomas in transplant patients, the ability of rhesus EBV gp350 to reduce levels of rhesus EBV in the blood after infection suggests the EBV gp350 could have a role in reducing certain EBV-associated cancers. This is the first test of candidate vaccines in the rhesus monkey model of EBV and shows that this model should be useful in further evaluation of EBV vaccines.
PMCID: PMC3197588  PMID: 22028652
23.  Epstein-Barr virus-associated lymphoproliferative disorder developed following autologous peripheral blood stem cell transplantation for relapsing Hodgkin’s lymphoma 
Oncology Letters  2012;3(6):1203-1206.
Post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorders (PTLDs) are lymphoid or plasmacytic proliferations that develop as a consequence of immunosuppression in a recipient of a solid organ, bone marrow or stem cell allograft. The development of PTLDs is usually associated with Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and the disorder is also termed EBV-associated lymphoproliferative disorder (LPD). The development of PTLD is a rare complication in autologous bone marrow/peripheral blood stem cell transplantation. In the present study, we report a case of EBV-associated LPD which developed following autologous peripheral blood stem cell transplantation for relapsing Hodgkin’s lymphoma. A 51-year-old male presented with swelling of the left cervical lymph nodes. A biopsy revealed nodular sclerosis classical Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Following four courses of ABVd (adriamycin, bleomycin, vinblastine, dacarbazine) therapy, the Hodgkin’s lymphoma relapsed. CHASE (cyclophosphamide, etoposide, cytarabine, dexamethasone) therapy and autologous peripheral blood stem cell transplantation were performed. In the 128 days following the transplantation, lymph node swelling was noted and a biopsy specimen demonstrated EBV-associated LPD. The serum copy number of EBV-DNA was 2.7×103 copies/ml. The occurrence of EBV-associated LPD may be on the rise due to the increased number of patients undergoing immunosuppression therapy. The measurement of the serum EBV-DNA copy number and the detection of EBV-infected atypical lymphocytes using in situ hybridization are significant in establishing an early accurate diagnosis and initiating the correct treatment for EBV-associated LPD in patients with immunosuppression.
PMCID: PMC3392596  PMID: 22783418
Epstein-Barr virus; lymphoproliferative disorder; Hodgkin’s lymphoma; autologous peripheral blood stem cell transplantation
24.  Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)–encoded small RNA is released from EBV-infected cells and activates signaling from toll-like receptor 3 
The Journal of Experimental Medicine  2009;206(10):2091-2099.
Epstein-Barr virus–encoded small RNA (EBER) is nonpolyadenylated, noncoding RNA that forms stem-loop structure by intermolecular base-pairing, giving rise to double-stranded RNA (dsRNA)–like molecules, and exists abundantly in EBV-infected cells. Here, we report that EBER induces signaling from the Toll-like receptor 3 (TLR3), which is a sensor of viral double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) and induces type I IFN and proinflammatory cytokines. A substantial amount of EBER, which was sufficient to induce signaling from TLR3, was released from EBV-infected cells, and the majority of the released EBER existed as a complex with a cellular EBER-binding protein La, suggesting that EBER was released from the cells by active secretion of La. Sera from patients with infectious mononucleosis (IM), chronic active EBV infection (CAEBV), and EBV-associated hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (EBV-HLH), whose general symptoms are caused by proinflammatory cytokines contained EBER, and addition of RNA purified from the sera into culture medium induced signaling from TLR3 in EBV-transformed lymphocytes and peripheral mononuclear cells. Furthermore, DCs treated with EBER showed mature phenotype and antigen presentation capacity. These findings suggest that EBER, which is released from EBV-infected cells, is responsible for immune activation by EBV, inducing type I IFN and proinflammatory cytokines. EBER-induced activation of innate immunity would account for immunopathologic diseases caused by active EBV infection.
PMCID: PMC2757889  PMID: 19720839
25.  Plasma Epstein–Barr virus and Hepatitis B virus in non-Hodgkin lymphomas: Two lymphotropic, potentially oncogenic, latently occurring DNA viruses 
There is a need to study potential infective etiologies in lymphomas. Lymphocyte-transforming viruses can directly infect lymphocytes, disrupt normal cell functions, and promote cell division. Epstein–Barr virus (EBV) is known to be associated with several lymphomas, especially Hodgkin lymphomas (HLs). And recently, the lymphocyte-transforming role of hepatitis B virus (HBV) has been emphasized.
The aim of this study was to elucidate the association of two potentially oncogenic, widely prevalent latent DNA viruses, EBV and HBV, in non-HL (NHL).
Settings and Design:
In this prospective study, we estimated plasma EBV and HBV DNA in NHL patients.
Materials and Methods:
Peripheral blood was obtained from newly diagnosed, treatment na ïve, histologically confirmed NHL patients. Plasma EBV DNA was quantified by real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) targeting Epstein–Barr Nucleic acid 1 while the plasma HBV DNA was detected using nested PCR targeting HBX gene. In a small subset of patients, follow-up plasma samples post-anticancer chemotherapy were available and retested for viral DNA.
Of the 110 NHL patients, ~79% were B-cell NHL and ~21% were T-cell NHL. Plasma EBV-DNA was detected in 10% NHLs with a higher EBV association in Burkitt lymphoma (33.3%) than other subtypes. Pretherapy HBV DNA was detected in 21% NHLs; most of them being diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL). Moreover, 42% of DLBCL patients had HBV DNA in plasma. Since all patients were HBV surface antigen seronegative at diagnosis, baseline plasma HBV-DNAemia before chemotherapy was indicative of occult hepatitis B infection.
Our findings indicate a significant association of HBV with newly diagnosed DLBCL.
PMCID: PMC5027786  PMID: 27688607
Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma; Epstein–Barr virus; hepatitis B virus; non-Hodgkin lymphoma; occult hepatitis B virus infection

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