PCR Topics pp 136-141 | Cite as

Detection of Epstein-Barr Virus Genomes in Lymphoproliferative Diseases

  • Michael Hummel
  • Hermann Herbst
  • Gerald Niedobitek
  • Michael Kneba
  • Teresa Finn
  • Ioannis Anagnostopoulos
  • Michael Bergholz
  • Gerhard Krieger
  • Harald Stein


Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), the etiologic agent of infectious mononucleosis, has a clearly established association with endemic Burkitt’s lymphoma (BL), nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC), and secondary B-cell proliferations in immunosuppressed individuals [1,2]. Epidemiologic studies have linked Hodgkin’s disease (HD), which accounts for 30–50% of malignant lymphomas in Western countries, to previous infectious mononucleosis [3]. Increased EBV-specific antibody titers were frequently observed in HD patients [4,6]. Recently, DNA filter hybridization studies pointed to an association of EBV with up to 20% of isolated cases of HD [7,9]. In EBV-positive HD cases studied in more detail, the viral DNA was monoclonal in origin and confined to Hodgkin and Reed-Sternberg (H and RS) cells that constitute the malignant cell population of HD [10,11]. However, since H and RS cells often account for less than 1% of the total cell number in HD-afflicted lymph nodes, it is possible that EBV escaped detection by filter hybridization methods in many HD cases. Therefore, we screened 198 HD cases, 151 non-Hodgkin lymphomas (NHL), and 34 non-malignant lymph node biopsies, all of which were clinically unrelated to HIV-infection, with the highly sensitive polymerase chain reaction (PCR) [12].


Infectious Mononucleosis Chronic Lymphatic Leukemia Sensitive Polymerase Chain Reaction Specific Polymerase Chain Reaction Product Malignant Cell Population 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Hummel
  • Hermann Herbst
  • Gerald Niedobitek
  • Michael Kneba
  • Teresa Finn
  • Ioannis Anagnostopoulos
  • Michael Bergholz
  • Gerhard Krieger
  • Harald Stein

There are no affiliations available

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