Chapter 28 : Epstein-Barr Virus

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In 1964, three researchers, Michael Anthony Epstein, Bert Achong, and Yvonne Barr, published in their discovery of what would later be known as Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) (1). Before this breakthrough, Epstein had been studying chicken tumor viruses at the Middlesex Hospital in London. In 1961, Epstein attended a lecture by Denis P. Burkitt, a British surgeon who had been stationed in Uganda, in which he detailed the relationship between Burkitt lymphoma and the geographical patterns of temperature, rainfall, and altitude (2). Suspicious of a viral etiology, Epstein spent the next few years attempting to isolate viral material from lymphoma biopsy samples taken from tumors of Ugandan children sent weekly by Burkitt to London. Despite a switch to tissue culture and assistance from Yvonne Barr and Bert Achong, isolation of a virus was unsuccessful. On December 5, 1963, the sample sent by Burkitt was delayed due to inclement weather, which fortuitously resulted in viable, free-floating, lymphoma cells that astonishingly grew in culture and demonstrated viral particles by electron microscopy (1). Though this initial finding was met with skepticism, mounting evidence over the following decades eventually resulted in the acceptance of EBV as the cause of Burkitt lymphoma, and the World Health Organization and the International Agency for Research and Cancer declared EBV as a group 1 carcinogen in the 1990s (2). Approximately 90% of people worldwide are carriers of latent EBV, and it is estimated that the virus causes more than 200,000 cancers each year, primarily B-cell neoplasms, which account for 1.5% of all cancers (2). There are two types of EBV, EBV-1 (A type) and EBV-2 (B type), that are distinguished by differences found primarily in their latent genes. EBV in America and Europe are much more likely to be EBV-1, whereas EBV found in Africa may be EBV-1 or EBV-2.

Citation: Chen D, Yen-Lieberman B. 2016. Epstein-Barr Virus, p 387-398. In Loeffelholz M, Hodinka R, Young S, Pinsky B (ed), Clinical Virology Manual, Fifth Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555819156.ch28
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Frequency of EBV in non-Hodgkin lymphomas

Citation: Chen D, Yen-Lieberman B. 2016. Epstein-Barr Virus, p 387-398. In Loeffelholz M, Hodinka R, Young S, Pinsky B (ed), Clinical Virology Manual, Fifth Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555819156.ch28
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EBV serological patterns and associated clinical settings

Citation: Chen D, Yen-Lieberman B. 2016. Epstein-Barr Virus, p 387-398. In Loeffelholz M, Hodinka R, Young S, Pinsky B (ed), Clinical Virology Manual, Fifth Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555819156.ch28

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