- Epstein-Barr virus
Taxobox | color=violet
name = "Epstein-Barr"
image_caption = Two Epstein-Barr virions
virus_group = i
familia = "
subfamilia = "
genus = "
species = "Human herpesvirus 4" (HHV-4)
The Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV), also called Human herpesvirus 4 (HHV-4), is a
virusof the herpes family (which includes " Herpes simplex virus"), and is one of the most common viruses in humans. Most people become infected with EBV, which is often asymptomaticbut commonly causes infectious mononucleosis(better known in the UK as glandular fever).
Epstein-Barr virus, frequently referred to as EBV, is a member of the herpesvirus family and one of the most common human viruses. The virus occurs worldwide, and most people become infected with EBV sometime during their lives. In the United States, as many as 95% of adults between 35 and 40 years of age have been infected. Infants become susceptible to EBV as soon as maternal antibody protection (present at birth) disappears. Many children become infected with EBV, and these infections usually cause no symptoms or are indistinguishable from the other mild, brief illnesses of childhood. In the United States and in other developed countries, many persons are not infected with EBV in their childhood years. When infection with EBV occurs during adolescence or young adulthood, it causes
infectious mononucleosis35% to 50% of the time.
Epstein-Barr virus and its sister virus KSHV can be maintained and manipulated in the laboratory in continual latency. While many viruses are assumed to have this property during infection of their natural host, they do not have an easily managed system for studying this part of the viral lifecycle. Further,
Walter Henleand Gertrude Henle[http://22.214.171.124/hmd/manuscripts/ead/henle.html] , together with Harald zur Hausenwho later discovered the papillomaviruses[http://www.cancerworld.org/CancerWorld/getStaticModFile.aspx?id=717] causing cervical cancer, discovered that EBV can directly immortalize B cells after infection, mimicking some forms of EBV-related neoplasia [http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/reprint/157/3792/1064] .
On infecting the
B-lymphocyte, the linear virus genome circularizes and the virus subsequently persists within the cell as an episome.
The virus can execute many distinct programs of
gene expressionwhich can be broadly categorized as being "lytic" cycle or "latent" cycle.
lytic cycleor productive infection results in staged expression of several viral proteins with the ultimate objective of producing infectious virions. Formally, this phase of infection does not inevitably lead to lysis of the host cell as EBV virions are produced by budding from the infected cell.
latent cycle(lysogenic) programs are those that do not result in production of virions. A very limited, distinct set of viral proteins are produced during latent cycle infection. These include Epstein-Barr nuclear antigen(EBNA)-1, EBNA-2, EBNA-3A, EBNA-3B, EBNA-3C, EBNA-leader protein (EBNA-LP) and latent membrane proteins (LMP)-1, LMP-2A and LMP-2B and the Epstein-Barr encoded RNAs (EBERs). In addition, EBV codes for at least twenty microRNAswhich are expressed in latently infected cells.The nomenclature used here is that of the Kieff lab. Other laboratories use different nomenclatures.]
From studies of EBV gene expression in cultured
Burkitt's lymphoma cell lines, at least three programs exist:
* EBNA1 only (group I)
* EBNA1 + EBNA2 (group II)
* Latent cycle proteins (group III)
It is also postulated that a program exists in which all viral protein expression is shut off.
When EBV infects B-lymphocytes
in vitro, lymphoblastoidcell lines eventually emerge that are capable of indefinite growth. The growth transformation of these cell lines is the consequence of viral protein expression.
EBNA-2, EBNA-3C and LMP-1 are essential for transformation while EBNA-LP and the EBERs are not. The EBNA-1 protein is essential for maintenance of the virus
genome.cite journal |author=Yates JL, Warren N, Sugden B |title=Stable replication of plasmids derived from Epstein-Barr virus in various mammalian cells |journal=Nature |volume=313 |issue=6005 |pages=812–5 |year=1985 |pmid=2983224|doi=10.1038/313812a0]
It is postulated that following natural infection with EBV, the virus executes some or all of its repertoire of gene expression programs to establish a persistent infection. Given the initial absence of host immunity, the lytic cycle produces large amounts of virus to infect other (presumably) B-lymphocytes within the host.
The latent programs reprogram and subvert infected B-lymphocytes to proliferate and bring infected cells to the sites at which the virus presumably persists. Eventually, when host immunity develops, the virus persists by turning off most (or possibly all) of its genes, only occasionally reactivating to produce fresh virions. A balance is eventually struck between occasional viral reactivation and host immune surveillance removing cells that activate viral gene expression.
The site of persistence of EBV may be
bone marrow. EBV-positive patients who have had their own bone marrow replaced with bone marrow from an EBV-negative donor are found to be EBV-negative after transplantation.cite journal |author=Gratama JW, Oosterveer MA, Zwaan FE, Lepoutre J, Klein G, Ernberg I |title=Eradication of Epstein-Barr virus by allogeneic bone marrow transplantation: implications for sites of viral latency |journal=Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. |volume=85 |issue=22 |pages=8693–6 |year=1988 |pmid=2847171|doi=10.1073/pnas.85.22.8693]
All EBV nuclear proteins are produced by alternative splicing of a transcript starting at either the Cp or Wp promoters at the left end of the
genome(in the conventional nomenclature). The genes are ordered EBNA-LP/EBNA-2/EBNA-3A/EBNA-3B/EBNA-3C/EBNA-1 within the genome.
codonof the EBNA-LP coding region is created by an alternate splice of the nuclear protein transcript. In the absence of this initiation codon, EBNA-2/EBNA-3A/EBNA-3B/EBNA-3C/EBNA-1 will be expressed depending on which of these genes is alternatively spliced into the transcript.
EBNA-1 protein binds to a replication origin (oriP) within the viral genome and mediates replication and partitioning of the episome during division of the host cell. It is the only viral protein expressed during group I latency. EBNA-1 possesses a
glycine- alaninerepeat that impairs antigenprocessing and MHC class I-restricted antigen presentation thereby inhibiting the CD8-restricted cytotoxic T-cellresponse against virus infected cells.cite journal |author=Levitskaya J, Coram M, Levitsky V, "et al" |title=Inhibition of antigen processing by the internal repeat region of the Epstein-Barr virus nuclear antigen-1 |journal=Nature |volume=375 |issue=6533 |pages=685–8 |year=1995 |pmid=7540727 |doi=10.1038/375685a0]
EBNA-1 was initially identified as the target antigen of sera from
rheumatoid arthritispatients (rheumatoid arthritis-associated nuclear antigen; RANA).
EBNA-2 is the main viral transactivator, switching transcription from the Wp promoters used during initially after infection to the Cp promoter. Together with EBNA-3C, it also activates the LMP-1 promoter. It is known to bind the host RBP-Jκ protein that is a key player in the Notch pathway. EBNA-2 is essential for EBV-mediated growth transformation.
These genes also bind the host
EBNA-3C can recruit a
ubiquitin- ligaseand has been shown to target cell cycle regulators like pRbcite journal |author=Knight JS, Sharma N, Robertson ES |title=SCFSkp2 complex targeted by Epstein-Barr virus essential nuclear antigen |journal=Mol. Cell. Biol. |volume=25 |issue=5 |pages=1749–63 |year=2005 |pmid=15713632 |doi=10.1128/MCB.25.5.1749-1763.2005] cite journal |author=Knight JS, Sharma N, Robertson ES |title=Epstein-Barr virus latent antigen 3C can mediate the degradation of the retinoblastoma protein through an SCF cellular ubiquitin ligase |journal=Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. |volume=102 |issue=51 |pages=18562–6 |year=2005 |pmid=16352731 |doi=10.1073/pnas.0503886102]
LMP-1 is a six-span
transmembraneprotein that is also essential for EBV-mediated growth transformation. LMP-1 mediates signaling through the Tumor necrosis factor-alpha/ CD40pathway.
LMP-2A/LMP-2B are transmembrane proteins that act to block
tyrosine kinasesignaling. it is believed that they act to inhibit activation of the viral lytic cycle. It s unknown whether LMP-2B is required for EBV-mediated growth transformation, while different groups have reported that LMP-2A alternatively is, or is not needed for transformation.
EBER-1/EBER-2 are small nuclear RNAs of an unknown role. They are not required for EBV-mediated growth transformation.
EBV microRNAs are encoded by two transcripts, one set in the BART gene and one set near the BHRF1 cluster. The three BHRF1 miRNAS are expressed during type III latency while the large cluster of BART miRNAs (up to 20 miRNAs) are expressed during type II latency. The functions of these miRNAs are currently unknown.
The Epstein-Barr Virus surface
glycoproteinH (gH) is essential for penetration of B cellsbut also plays a role in attachment of virus to epithelial cells. [cite journal |author=Molesworth SJ, Lake CM, Borza CM, Turk SM, Hutt-Fletcher LM |title=Epstein-Barr virus gH is essential for penetration of B cells but also plays a role in attachment of virus to epithelial cells |journal=Journal of virology |volume=74 |issue=14 |pages=6324–32 |year=2000 |month=July |pmid=10864642 |pmc=112138 |doi= |url=http://jvi.asm.org/cgi/pmidlookup?view=long&pmid=10864642]
In laboratory and animal trials in 2000, it was shown that both antagonism of RA-mediated growth inhibition and promotion of LCL proliferation were efficiently reversed by the glucocorticoid receptor (GR) antagonist RU486. [cite journal |author=Quaia M, Zancai P, Cariati R, Rizzo S, Boiocchi M, Dolcetti R |title=Glucocorticoids promote the proliferation and antagonize the retinoic acid-mediated growth suppression of Epstein-Barr virus-immortalized B lymphocytes |journal=Blood |volume=96 |issue=2 |pages=711–8 |year=2000 |month=July |pmid=10887139 |doi= |url=http://www.bloodjournal.org/cgi/pmidlookup?view=long&pmid=10887139]
Epstein-Barr can cause
infectious mononucleosis, also known as 'glandular fever', 'Mono' and 'Pfeiffer's disease'. Infectious mononucleosis is caused when a person is first exposed to the virus during or after adolescence. Though once deemed "The Kissing Disease," recent research has shown that transmission of Mono not only occurs from exchanging saliva, but also from contact with the airborne virus.Fact|date=March 2008 It is predominantly found in the developing world, and most children in the developing world are found to have already been infected by around 18 months of age. EBV antibodytests turn up almost universally positive. In the United Statesroughly half of five-year-olds have been infected, [cite web |url=http://www.emedicine.com/ped/topic705.htm |title=Mononucleosis and Epstein-Barr Virus Infection |author=Bennett NJ |work=eMedicine |date=2008-08-12 |accessdate=2008-10-05] and up to 95% of adults between 35 and 40 years of age.
The strongest evidence linking EBV and cancer formation is found in
Burkitt's lymphomaand nasopharyngeal carcinoma. It has been postulated to be a trigger for a subset of chronic fatigue syndromepatients [cite journal |author=Lerner AM, Beqaj SH, Deeter RG, Fitzgerald JT |title=IgM serum antibodies to Epstein-Barr virus are uniquely present in a subset of patients with the chronic fatigue syndrome |journal=In vivo (Athens, Greece) |volume=18 |issue=2 |pages=101–6 |year=2004 |pmid=15113035 |doi= |url=] as well as multiple sclerosisand other autoimmunediseases. [cite journal |author=Lünemann JD, Münz C |title=Epstein-Barr virus and multiple sclerosis |journal=Current neurology and neuroscience reports |volume=7 |issue=3 |pages=253–8 |year=2007 |pmid=17488592|doi=10.1007/s11910-007-0038-y] Burkitt's lymphomais a type of Non-Hodgkin's lymphomaand is most common in equatorial Africaand is co-existent with the presence of malaria. [cite web |url=http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001308.htm |title=Burkitt lymphoma |format= |work=MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia |accessdate=2008-10-05] Malaria infection causes reduced immune surveillance of B cells immortalized by EBV, resulting in an excessive number of B cells and an increased likelihood of an unchecked mutation. Repeated mutations can lead to loss of cell-cycle control, causing excessive proliferation observed as Burkitt's lymphoma. Burkitt's lymphoma commonly affects the jaw bone, forming a huge tumor mass. It responds quickly to chemotherapytreatment, namely cyclophosphamide, but recurrence is common.
Other B cell lymphomas arise in immunocompromised patients such as those with
AIDSor who have undergone organ transplantation with associated immunosuppression(Post-Transplant Lymphoproliferative Disorder (PTLPD)). Smooth muscletumors are also associated with the virus in malignant patients.cite journal |author=Weiss SW |title=Smooth muscle tumors of soft tissue |journal=Advances in anatomic pathology |volume=9 |issue=6 |pages=351–9 |year=2002 |month=November |pmid=12409644 |doi= |url=http://meta.wkhealth.com/pt/pt-core/template-journal/lwwgateway/media/landingpage.htm?issn=1072-4109&volume=9&issue=6&spage=351] Nasopharyngeal carcinomais a cancer found in the upper respiratory tract, most commonly in the nasopharynx, and is linked to the EBV virus. It is found predominantly in Southern China and Africa, due to both genetic and environmental factors. It is much more common in people of Chinese ancestry (genetic), but is also linked to the Chinese diet of a high amount of smoked fish, which contain nitrosamines, well known carcinogens(environmental). [ [http://www.oncologychannel.com/headneck/nasopharynx.shtml] Nasopharyngeal carcinoma information at OncologyChannel.com]
Symptoms of infectious mononucleosis are fever, sore throat, and swollen lymph glands. Sometimes, a swollen spleen or liver involvement may develop. Heart problems or involvement of the central nervous system occurs only rarely, and infectious mononucleosis is almost never fatal. There are no known associations between active EBV infection and problems during pregnancy, such as miscarriages or birth defects.cite journal |author=Fleisher G, Bolognese R |title=Persistent Epstein-Barr virus infection and pregnancy |journal=The Journal of infectious diseases |volume=147 |issue=6 |pages=982–6 |year=1983 |month=June |pmid=6304207 |doi= |url=] cite web |url=http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/diseases/ebv.htm |title=Epstein-Barr Virus |publisher=CDC: National Center for Infectious Diseases |date=2008-10-05 | accessdate=2008-10-05] Although the symptoms of infectious mononucleosis usually resolve in 1 or 2 months, EBV remains dormant or latent in a few cells in the throat and blood for the rest of the person's life. Periodically, the virus can reactivate and is commonly found in the saliva of infected persons. Reactivated and post-latent virus may pass the placental barrier in (also seropositive) pregnant women via macrophages and therefore can infect the fetus. Also re-infection of prior seropositive individuals may occur. In contrast reactivation in adults usually occurs without symptoms of illness.
EBV also establishes a lifelong dormant infection in some cells of the body's immune system. A late event in a very few carriers of this virus is the emergence of Burkitt's lymphoma and nasopharyngeal carcinoma, two rare cancers. EBV appears to play an important role in these malignancies, but is probably not the sole cause of disease.
Most individuals exposed to people with infectious mononucleosis have previously been infected with EBV and are not at risk for infectious mononucleosis. In addition, transmission of EBV requires intimate contact with the saliva (found in the mouth) of an infected person. Transmission of this virus through the air or blood does not normally occur. The incubation period, or the time from infection to appearance of symptoms, ranges from 4 to 6 weeks. Persons with infectious mononucleosis may be able to spread the infection to others for a period of weeks. However, no special precautions or isolation procedures are recommended, since the virus is also found frequently in the saliva of healthy people. In fact, many healthy people can carry and spread the virus intermittently for life. These people are usually the primary reservoir for person-to-person transmission. For this reason, transmission of the virus is almost impossible to prevent.
The clinical diagnosis of infectious mononucleosis is suggested on the basis of the symptoms of fever, sore throat, swollen lymph glands, and the age of the patient. Usually, laboratory tests are needed for confirmation. Serologic results for persons with infectious mononucleosis include an elevated white blood cell count, an increased percentage of certain atypical white blood cells, and a positive reaction to a "mono spot" test.
There is no specific treatment for infectious mononucleosis, other than treating the symptoms. No antiviral drugs or vaccines are available. Some physicians have prescribed a 5-day course of steroids to control the swelling of the throat and tonsils. The use of steroids has also been reported to decrease the overall length and severity of illness, but these reports have not been published.
It is important to note that symptoms related to infectious mononucleosis caused by EBV infection seldom last for more than 4 months. When such an illness lasts more than 6 months, it is frequently called chronic EBV infection. However, valid laboratory evidence for continued active EBV infection is seldom found in these patients. The illness should be investigated further to determine if it meets the criteria for
chronic fatigue syndrome, or CFS. This process includes ruling out other causes of chronic illness or fatigue.
Chronic fatigue syndrome
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, EBV became the favored explanation for
chronic fatigue syndrome.Fact|date=October 2008 It was noted that people with chronic exhaustion had EBV, although it was also noted EBV was present in almost everyone. In a four year study, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that the virus did not adhere to Koch's Postulatesand therefore had no definitive association between CFS and EBV but it is still being studied by researchers.
Non-Hodgkin's lymphomas, including Burkitt's lymphomaand primary cerebral lymphoma
Alice in Wonderland syndrome
Post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorder
Multiple Sclerosis(higher risk in patients infected as teenagers than as children)
Common variable immunodeficiency(CVID)
* Subepithelial Infiltrates
* Smooth muscle tumors [
journal = Am J Surg Pathol
volume = 2006 Jan;30(1):75-82
title = Epstein-Barr virus-associated smooth muscle tumors are distinctive mesenchymal tumors reflecting multiple infection events: a clinicopathologic and molecular analysis of 29 tumors from 19 patients
author = Deyrup AT, Lee VK, Hill CE, Cheuk W, Toh HC, Kesavan S, Chan EW, Weiss SW
pmid = 16330945]
EBV is named after
Michael Epsteinand Yvonne Barr, who together with Bert Achong, [cite web |url=http://caribbean-icons.org/science/bert-achong.htm |title=NIHERST: Caribbean Icons in STI |accessdate=2008-10-05] discovered the virus in 1964 in cells cultured from the tumor specimens sent to them from Mulago Hospitalin Kampala, Ugandaby Denis Burkitt.cite journal |author=Epstein MA, Achong BG, Barr YM |title=Virus particles in cultured lymphoblasts from Burkitt's lymphoma |journal=Lancet |volume=1 |issue=7335 |pages=702–3 |year=1964 |month=March |pmid=14107961 |doi= |url=] Burkitt and Epstein had met three years earlier in London during a talk by Burkitt on his findings regarding children's cancers in tropical Africa. In the talk, Burkitt postulated that there may be an infectious component to what he referred to as "African Lymphoma". After the presentation, the two men met and Burkitt agreed to send Epstein frozen specimens for him to analyze.cite journal|author=Coakley D |title=Denis Burkitt and his contribution to haematology/oncology |journal=Br J Haematol | volume=135|issue=1| pages=17–25| year=2006| pmid=16939495|doi=10.1111/j.1365-2141.2006.06267.x]
* [http://www.the-scientist.com/yr1999/mar/watanabe_p1_990315.html "Epstein-Barr Virus: Implicated in Cancer Etiology in China, Impetus for a Vaccine" Article in The Scientist 13(6):1, Mar. 15, 1999 (registration required))]
* [http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/diseases/ebv.htm National (USA) Center for Infectious Diseases website on EBV]
* [http://www.horizonpress.com/ebv Epstein Barr Virus] Editor: Erle S. Robertson Department of Microbiology and the Abramson Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Pennsylvania Medical School, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104, USA
* [http://www.bcm.edu/ebvassociation/ International Association for Research on EBV] Body that organizes the two-yearly EBV research meeting.
* [http://www.healthocrates.com/Epstein-Barr-Virus www.healthocrates.com] - Article about Epstein-Barr Virus
* [http://caribbean-icons.org/science/bert-achong.htm Caribbean Icons, org] Burt Achong
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