Transformation of Cells by Epstein-Barr Virus: An Hypothesis

  • Beverly E. Griffin
Part of the Experimental Biology and Medicine book series (EBAM, volume 8)


Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) has been found in association with three different diseases of B-cell origin and one originating from epithelial cells. With regard to the former, the virus has been shown to be the causative agent of infectious mononucleosis, and to be present in most monoclonal Burkitt’s lymphomas. In addition, viral association with increasing numbers of lymphoproliferative disorders, in response to immunosuppressive agents, is being recognised. EBV is also found in epithelial cells derived from poorly differentiated carcinomas of the nasopharynx (NPC). One of the most striking and unexplained aspect of both Burkitt’s lymphomas and NPC is the uneven distribution of the disease among ethnic groups. The role of EBV in the B-cell diseases has been frequently speculated to be related to its ability to induce unlimited proliferation in infected cells.1 A similar role in the epithelium disorder may exist, but this has been more difficult to study in vitro, largely because no epithelial cell has yet been identified that has receptors for EBV.


Soft Agar Sodium Butyrate Infectious Mononucleosis African Green Monkey Kidney African Green Monkey Kidney Cell 
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Copyright information

© The Humana Press Inc. 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Beverly E. Griffin
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of VirologyRoyal Postgraduate Medical School, Hammersmith HospitalLondonUK

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