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Epstein-Barr virus specific antibodies in patients with coeliac disease


SERUM antibodies to Epstein-Barr viral antigens were studied in 56 patients with treated coeliac disease and 53 healthy controls. Four individuals with a malignancy were among the group studied.

Twenty-one patients (37.5%) showed unusual antibody response patterns which were broadly divisible into two groups: (1) those with elevated antiviral capsid antigen (VCA), antibodies associated with positive anti-early antigen (EA) responses, and (2) those with low anti-Epstein-Barr nuclear antigen (EBNA) responses. While the results indicate that some patients with coeliac disease have an immunological abnormality with respect to EBV, there is as yet no direct evidence that this results in malignancies.

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Author information

Correspondence to Shinji Harada or John Greally or Jack Davis or Nancy Synder or Fiona Stevens or Claran McCarthy or David T. Purtilo.

Additional information

We thank Miss Patricia Rohan for typing this manuscript.

Supported in part by a grant from the Cancer Research Advancement Board of the Irish Cancer Society and by PHS grant number 30196, awarded by the National Cancer Institute, DHHS, the American Society RD161, the Nebraska Department of Health, and the Lymphoproliferative Research Fund.

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Harada, S., Greally, J., Davis, J. et al. Epstein-Barr virus specific antibodies in patients with coeliac disease. I.J.M.S. 154, 416–421 (1985). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02937215

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  • Coeliac Disease
  • Hairy Cell Leukemia
  • Ataxia Telangiectasia
  • Geometrical Mean Titre
  • Viral Capsid Antigen