Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is a human herpesvirus implicated in a range of neoplasms3 including Burkitt's lymphoma, Hodgkin lymphoma1,4,5,6, angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma2, lymphomatoid granulomatosis, nasal type T/NK lymphoma, post-transplant lymphoproliferative disease and smooth muscle tumours, AIDS-associated lymphoma and congenital immunodeficiency-associated lymphoma. For T-cell lymphomas, positivity for EBER is a marker of poor prognosis7.

In situ hybridisation for EBER1 RNA is the most sensitive method of demonstrating EBV in paraffin sections8,9.


1 Chang KL, Albujar PF, Chen YY, et al. High prevalence of Epstein-Barr virus in the Reed-Sternberg cells of Hodgkin's disease occurring in Peru. Blood 1993; 81:496-501 FULL TEXT

2 Weiss LM, Jaffe ES, Liu XF, et al. Detection and localization of Epstein-Barr viral genomes in angioimmunoblastic lymphadenopathy and angioimmunoblastic lymphadenopathy-like lymphoma. Blood 1992; 79:1789-95 FULL TEXT

3 Baumforth KR, Young LS, Flavell KJ, et al. The Epstein-Barr virus and its association with human cancers. Mol Pathol 1999; 52:307-22

4 Jarrett RF, Gallagher A, Jones DB, et al. Detection of Epstein-Barr virus genomes in Hodgkin's disease: relation to age. J Clin Pathol 1991; 44:844-8

5 Weinreb M, Day PJ, Niggli F, et al. The consistent association between Epstein-Barr virus and Hodgkin's disease in children in Kenya. Blood 1996; 87:3828-36

6 Weinreb M, Day PJ, Niggli F, et al. The role of Epstein-Barr virus in Hodgkin's disease from different geographical areas. Arch Dis Child 1996; 74:27-31

7 d'Amore F, Johansen P, Houmand A, et al. Epstein-Barr virus genome in non-Hodgkin's lymphomas occurring in immunocompetent patients: highest prevalence in nonlymphoblastic T-cell lymphoma and correlation with a poor prognosis. Danish Lymphoma Study Group, LYFO. Blood 1996; 87:1045-55

8 Chang KL, Chen YY, Shibata D, et al. Description of an in situ hybridization methodology for detection of Epstein-Barr virus RNA in paraffin-embedded tissues, with a survey of normal and neoplastic tissues. Diagn Mol Pathol 1992; 1:246-55

9 Lones MA, Shintaku IP, Weiss LM, et al. Posttransplant lymphoproliferative disorder in liver allograft biopsies: a comparison of three methods for the demonstration of Epstein-Barr virus. Hum Pathol 1997; 28:533-9

This page last revised 30.0.2006.

©SMUHT/PW Bishop