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Author: Alan B Rickinson (88)


Oct
2017

Epstein-Barr virus-associated lymphomas.

Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci 2017 Oct;372(1732)
Claire Shannon-Lowe, Alan B Rickinson, Andrew I Bell
Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), originally discovered through its association with Burkitt lymphoma, is now aetiologically linked to a remarkably wide range of lymphoproliferative lesions and malignant lymphomas of B-, T- and NK-cell origin. Some occur as rare accidents of virus persistence in the B lymphoid system, while others arise as a result of viral entry into unnatural target cells. The early finding that EBV is a potent B-cell growth transforming agent hinted at a simple oncogenic mechanism by which this virus could promote lymphomagenesis.

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Nov
2017

Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is typically acquired asymptomatically in childhood. In contrast, infection later in life often leads to infectious mononucleosis (IM), a febrile illness characterized by anti-EBV IgM antibody positivity, high loads of circulating latently infected B cells, and a marked lymphocytosis caused by hyperexpansion of EBV-specific CD8T cells plus a milder expansion of CD56NKG2AKIRnatural killer (NK) cells. How the two situations compare is unclear due to the paucity of studies on clinically silent infection.

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Dec
1969

The EBV is known to persist in memory B cells, but it remains unclear how this affects cell numbers and humoral immunity. We here studied EBV persistence in memory B cell subsets and consequences on B cell memory in young children. EBV genome loads were quantified in 6 memory B cell subsets in EBVadults.

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Aug
2016

Disruption of T cell memory during severe immune suppression results in reactivation of chronic viral infections, such as Epstein Barr virus (EBV) and Cytomegalovirus (CMV). How different subsets of memory T cells contribute to the protective immunity against these viruses remains poorly defined. In this study we examined the compartmentalization of virus-specific, tissue resident memory CD8+ T cells in human lymphoid organs.

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Apr
2016

Epstein-Barr virus, a B-lymphotropic herpesvirus, is the cause of infectious mononucleosis, has strong aetiologic links with several malignancies and has been implicated in certain autoimmune diseases. Efforts to develop a prophylactic vaccine to prevent or reduce EBV-associated disease have, to date, focused on the induction of neutralising antibody responses. However, such vaccines might be further improved by inducing T cell responses capable of recognising and killing recently-infected B cells.

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Dec
2015

Allogeneic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT) provides a unique opportunity to track Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection in the context of the reconstituting B-cell system. Although many allo-HSCT recipients maintain low or undetectable levels of EBV DNA posttransplant, a significant proportion exhibit elevated and rapidly increasing EBV loads which, if left untreated, may lead to potentially fatal EBV-associated posttransplant lymphoproliferative disease. Intriguingly, this high-level EBV reactivation typically arises in the first 3 months posttransplant, at a time when the peripheral blood contains low numbers of CD27+ memory cells which are the site of EBV persistence in healthy immunocompetent donors.

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Nov
2015

Human primary immunodeficiency (PID) states, where mutations in single immune system genes predispose individuals to certain infectious agents and not others, are experiments of nature that hold important lessons for the immunologist. The number of genetically defined PIDs is rising rapidly, as is the opportunity to learn from them. Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), a human herpesvirus, has long been of interest because of its complex interaction with the immune system.

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Mar
2015

Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection often occurs in early childhood and is asymptomatic. However, if delayed until adolescence, primary infection may manifest as acute infectious mononucleosis (AIM), a febrile illness characterised by global CD8+ T-cell lymphocytosis, much of it reflecting a huge expansion of activated EBV-specific CD8+ T-cells. While the events of AIM have been intensely studied, little is known about how these relate to asymptomatic primary infection.

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May
2015

Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infects most of the world's population and is causally associated with several human cancers, but little is known about how EBV genetic variation might influence infection or EBV-associated disease. There are currently no published wild-type EBV genome sequences from a healthy individual and very few genomes from EBV-associated diseases. We have sequenced 71 geographically distinct EBV strains from cell lines, multiple types of primary tumor, and blood samples and the first EBV genome from the saliva of a healthy carrier.

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Dec
1969

Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is usually acquired silently early in life and carried thereafter as an asymptomatic infection of the B lymphoid system. However, many circumstances disturb the delicate EBV-host balance and cause the virus to display its pathogenic potential. Thus, primary infection in adolescence can manifest as infectious mononucleosis (IM), as a fatal illness that magnifies the immunopathology of IM in boys with the X-linked lymphoproliferative disease trait, and as a chronic active disease leading to life-threatening hemophagocytosis in rare cases of T or natural killer (NK) cell infection.

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Mar
2015

Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection of B cells leads to the sequential activation of two viral promoters, Wp and Cp, resulting in the expression of six EBV nuclear antigens (EBNAs) and the viral Bcl2 homologue BHRF1. The viral transactivator EBNA2 is required for this switch from Wp to Cp usage during the initial stages of infection. EBNA2-dependent Cp transcription is mediated by the EBNA2 response element (E2RE), a region that contains at least two binding sites for cellular factors; one of these sites, CBF1, interacts with RBP-JK, which then recruits EBNA2 to the transcription initiation complex.

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Oct
2014

Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is associated with several cancers in which the tumor cells express EBV antigens EBNA1 and LMP2. A therapeutic vaccine comprising a recombinant vaccinia virus, MVA-EL, was designed to boost immunity to these tumor antigens. A phase I trial was conducted to demonstrate the safety and immunogenicity of MVA-EL across a range of doses.

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Jun
2014

Emerging topics in human tumor virology.

Semin Cancer Biol 2014 Jun 23;26:1-3. Epub 2014 Apr 23.
Maria G Masucci, Alan B Rickinson

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Apr
2014

Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), a human herpesvirus with potent B cell growth transforming ability, induces multiple cellular immune responses in the infected host. How these host responses work together to prevent virus pathogenicity, and how immune imbalance predisposes to disease, remain poorly understood. Here, we describe three ongoing lines of enquiry that are shedding new light on these issues.

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Jan
2014

The transcriptional regulator c-MYC is abnormally overexpressed in many human cancers. Evasion from apoptosis is critical for cancer development, particularly c-MYC-driven cancers. We explored which anti-apoptotic BCL-2 family member (expressed under endogenous regulation) is essential to sustain c-MYC-driven lymphoma growth to reveal which should be targeted for cancer therapy.

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Dec
2013

EBV elicits primary CD8(+) T cell responses that, by T cell cloning from infectious mononucleosis (IM) patients, appear skewed toward immediate early (IE) and some early (E) lytic cycle proteins, with late (L) proteins rarely targeted. However, L Ag-specific responses have been detected regularly in polyclonal T cell cultures from long-term virus carriers. To resolve this apparent difference between responses to primary and persistent infection, 13 long-term carriers were screened in ex vivo IFN-γ ELISPOT assays using peptides spanning the two IE, six representative E, and seven representative L proteins.

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May
2013

Virus-specific CD4(+) T cells are key orchestrators of host responses to viral infection yet, compared with their CD8(+) T cell counterparts, remain poorly characterized at the single cell level. Here we use nine MHC II-epitope peptide tetramers to visualize human CD4(+) T cell responses to Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), the causative agent of infectious mononucleosis (IM), a disease associated with large virus-specific CD8(+) T cell responses. We find that, while not approaching virus-specific CD8(+) T cell expansions in magnitude, activated CD4(+) T cells specific for epitopes in the latent antigen EBNA2 and four lytic cycle antigens are detected at high frequencies in acute IM blood.

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Mar
2013

Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is associated with several malignancies including nasopharyngeal carcinoma, a high incidence tumor in Chinese populations, in which tumor cells express the two EBV antigens EB nuclear antigen 1 (EBNA1) and latent membrane protein 2 (LMP2). Here, we report the phase I trial of a recombinant vaccinia virus, MVA-EL, which encodes an EBNA1/LMP2 fusion protein designed to boost T-cell immunity to these antigens. The vaccine was delivered to Hong Kong patients with nasopharyngeal carcinoma to determine a safe and immunogenic dose.

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Mar
2013

Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is present in all cases of endemic Burkitt lymphoma (BL) but in few European/North American sporadic BLs. Gene expression arrays of sporadic tumors have defined a consensus BL profile within which tumors are classifiable as "molecular BL" (mBL). Where endemic BLs fall relative to this profile remains unclear, since they not only carry EBV but also display one of two different forms of virus latency.

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Oct
2012

: Posttransplant lymphoproliferative disorders (PTLDs) are associated with significant morbidity and mortality among solid-organ transplant patients, but approaches to diagnosis and management vary considerably. An international multidisciplinary panel evaluated current understanding of risk factors and classification systems and developed recommendations to aid in PTLD prevention. We considered evidence on PTLD risk factors including Epstein-Barr virus serostatus and immunosuppression and identified knowledge gaps for future research.

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Oct
2012

Burkitt's lymphoma (BL) can often be cured by intensive chemotherapy, but the toxicity of such therapy precludes its use in the elderly and in patients with endemic BL in developing countries, necessitating new strategies. The normal germinal centre B cell is the presumed cell of origin for both BL and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), yet gene expression analysis suggests that these malignancies may use different oncogenic pathways. BL is subdivided into a sporadic subtype that is diagnosed in developed countries, the Epstein-Barr-virus-associated endemic subtype, and an HIV-associated subtype, but it is unclear whether these subtypes use similar or divergent oncogenic mechanisms.

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Dec
1969

Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), a lymphomagenic human herpesvirus, colonises the host through polyclonal B cell-growth-transforming infections yet establishes persistence only in IgD⁺ CD27⁺ non-switched memory (NSM) and IgD⁻ CD27⁺ switched memory (SM) B cells, not in IgD⁺ CD27⁻ naïve (N) cells. How this selectivity is achieved remains poorly understood. Here we show that purified N, NSM and SM cell preparations are equally transformable in vitro to lymphoblastoid cells lines (LCLs) that, despite upregulating the activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID) enzyme necessary for Ig isotype switching and Ig gene hypermutation, still retain the surface Ig phenotype of their parental cells.

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May
2012

Patients with the primary immunodeficiency X-linked lymphoproliferative disease (XLP), which is caused by mutations in SH2D1A, are highly susceptible to Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection. Nonetheless, some XLP patients demonstrate less severe clinical manifestations after primary infection. SH2D1A encodes the adaptor molecule SLAM-associated protein (SAP), which is expressed in T and natural killer cells and is required for cytotoxicity against B cells, the reservoir for EBV.

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Dec
2011

Immunotherapies targeting peptides presented by allogeneic MHC molecules offer the prospect of circumventing tolerance to key tumor-associated self-antigens. However, the degree of antigen specificity mediated by alloreactive T cells, and their ability to discriminate normal tissues from transformed cells presenting elevated antigen levels, is poorly understood. We examined allorecognition of an HLA-A2-restricted Hodgkin's lymphoma-associated antigen and were able to isolate functionally antigen-specific allo-HLA-A2-restricted T cells from multiple donors.

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Nov
2011

X-linked lymphoproliferative disease (XLP) is a primary immunodeficiency caused by mutations in SH2D1A which encodes SAP. SAP functions in signalling pathways elicited by the SLAM family of leukocyte receptors. A defining feature of XLP is exquisite sensitivity to infection with EBV, a B-lymphotropic virus, but not other viruses.

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Dec
2011

The genome of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), a gammaherpesvirus with potent B-cell growth-transforming ability, contains multiple copies of a 3-kb BamHI W repeat sequence; each repeat carries (i) a promoter (Wp) that initiates transformation by driving EBNA-LP and EBNA2 expression and (ii) the W1W2 exons encoding the functionally active repeat domain of EBNA-LP. The W repeat copy number of a virus therefore influences two potential determinants of its transforming ability: the number of available Wp copies and the maximum size of the encoded EBNA-LP. Here, using recombinant EBVs, we show that optimal B-cell transformation requires a minimum of 5 W repeats (5W); the levels of transforming ability fall progressively with viruses carrying 4, 3, and 2 W repeats, as do the levels of Wp-initiated transcripts expressed early postinfection (p.

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Sep
2011

Interactions between MHC class II (MHC II)-positive APCs and CD4(+) T cells are central to adaptive immune responses. Using an Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-transformed B lymphoblastoid cell line (LCL) as MHC II-positive APCs and CD4(+) T-cell clones specific for two endogenously expressed EBV antigens, we found that shRNA knockdown of the tetraspanin protein CD63 in LCL cells consistently led to increased CD4(+) T-cell recognition. This effect was not due to enhanced antigen processing nor to changes in MHC II expression since CD63 knockdown did not influence the amount or dimerization of MHC II in LCL cells.

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Jul
2011

EBV, a B lymphotropic herpesvirus, encodes two immediate early (IE)-, >30 early (E)-, and >30 late (L)-phase proteins during its replication (lytic) cycle. Despite this, lytic Ag-induced CD8 responses are strongly skewed toward IE and a few E proteins only, all expressed before HLA I presentation is blocked in lytically infected cells. For comparison, we examined CD4(+) T cell responses to eight IE, E, or L proteins, screening 14 virus-immune donors to overlapping peptide pools in IFN-γ ELISPOT assays, and established CD4(+) T cell clones against 12 defined epitopes for target-recognition assays.

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Mar
2011

EBV, the prototypic human γ(1)-herpesvirus, persists for life in infected individuals, despite the presence of vigorous antiviral immunity. CTLs play an important role in the protection against viral infections, which they detect through recognition of virus-encoded peptides presented in the context of HLA class I molecules at the cell surface. The viral peptides are generated in the cytosol and are transported into the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) by TAP.

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Apr
2011

Immune defence against EBV and EBV-associated disease.

Curr Opin Immunol 2011 Apr 25;23(2):258-64. Epub 2011 Jan 25.
Heather M Long, Graham S Taylor, Alan B Rickinson
Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), a B-lymphotropic herpesvirus widespread in the human population and normally contained as an asymptomatic infection by T cell surveillance, nevertheless causes infectious mononucleosis and is strongly linked to several types of human cancer. Here we describe new findings on the range of cellular immune responses induced by EBV infection, on viral strategies to evade those responses and on the links between HLA gene loci and EBV-induced disease. The success of adoptive T cell therapy for EBV-driven post-transplant lymphoproliferative disease is stimulating efforts to target other EBV-associated tumours by immunotherapeutic means, and has reawakened interest in the ultimate intervention strategy, a prophylactic EBV vaccine.

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May
2011

Polymorphisms in Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) latent genes can identify virus strains from different human populations and individual strains within a population. An Asian EBV signature has been defined almost exclusively from Chinese viruses, with little information from other Asian countries. Here we sequenced polymorphic regions of the EBNA1, 2, 3A, 3B, 3C and LMP1 genes of 31 Japanese strains from control donors and EBV-associated T/NK-cell lymphoproliferative disease (T/NK-LPD) patients.

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Nov
2010

Therapeutic targeting of virus-encoded proteins using cellular immunotherapy has proved successful for Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-associated posttransplant lymphoproliferative disease. However, the more limited repertoire and immunogenicity of EBV-encoded proteins in other malignancies such as Hodgkin lymphoma and extranodal natural killer (NK)/T lymphoma has been more challenging to target. The immunosubdominant latent membrane protein 2 (LMP2) is considered the optimal target in such Latency II tumors, although data relating to its expression in T/NK malignancies are limited.

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Oct
2010

X-linked lymphoproliferative disease (XLP) is a condition associated with mutations in the signaling lymphocytic activation molecule (SLAM)-associated protein (SAP; SH2D1A). SAP functions as an adaptor, binding to and recruiting signaling molecules to SLAM family receptors expressed on T and natural killer cells. XLP is associated with extreme sensitivity to primary Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection, often leading to a lethal infectious mononucleosis.

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Feb
2010

Whereas exogenously acquired proteins are the major source of antigens feeding the MHC class II pathway in antigen-presenting cells, some endogenously expressed antigens also access that pathway but the rules governing such access are poorly understood. Here we address this using Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-coded nuclear antigen EBNA1, a protein naturally expressed in EBV-infected B lymphoblastoid cell lines (LCLs) and a source of multiple CD4(+) T cell epitopes. Using CD4(+) T cell clones against three indicator epitopes, we find that two epitopes are weakly displayed on the LCL surface whereas the third is undetectable, a pattern of limited epitope presentation that is maintained even when nuclear expression of EBNA1 is induced to high supraphysiological levels.

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Feb
2010


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Dec
2009

Viruses that naturally infect cells expressing both MHC I and MHC II molecules render themselves potentially visible to both CD8+ and CD4+ T cells through the de novo expression of viral antigens. Here we use one such pathogen, the B-lymphotropic Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), to examine the kinetics of these processes in the virally-infected cell, comparing newly synthesised polypeptides versus the mature protein pool as viral antigen sources for MHC I- and MHC II-restricted presentation. EBV-transformed B cell lines were established in which the expression of two cognate EBV antigens, EBNA1 and EBNA3B, could be induced and then completely suppressed by doxycycline-regulation.

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Dec
2009

Epstein-Barr virus was originally identified in the tumour cells of a Burkitt's lymphoma, and was the first virus to be associated with the pathogenesis of a human cancer. Studies on the relationship of EBV with Burkitt's lymphoma have revealed important general principles that are relevant to other virus-associated cancers. In addition, the impact of such studies on the knowledge of EBV biology has been enormous.

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Sep
2009

In immunocompetent individuals, the stability of the herpesvirus-host balance limits opportunities to study the disappearance of a virus-specific CD8(+) T-cell response. However, we noticed that in HLA-A 0201-positive infectious mononucleosis (IM) patients undergoing primary Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection, the initial CD8 response targets three EBV lytic antigen-derived epitopes, YVLDHLIVV (YVL), GLCTLVAML (GLC), and TLDYKPLSV (TLD), but only the YVL and GLC reactivities persist long-term; the TLD response disappears within 10 to 27 months. While present, TLD-specific cells remained largely indistinguishable from YVL and GLC reactivities in many phenotypic and functional respects but showed unique temporal changes in two markers of T-cell fate, interleukin 7 receptor alpha (IL-7Ralpha; CD127) and programmed death 1 (PD-1).

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Jun
2009

The gamma-herpesvirus Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) persists for life in infected individuals despite the presence of a strong immune response. During the lytic cycle of EBV many viral proteins are expressed, potentially allowing virally infected cells to be recognized and eliminated by CD8+ T cells. We have recently identified an immune evasion protein encoded by EBV, BNLF2a, which is expressed in early phase lytic replication and inhibits peptide- and ATP-binding functions of the transporter associated with antigen processing.

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Jul
2009

Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-specific T-cell preparations, generated by stimulating immune donor lymphocytes with the autologous virus-transformed B-lymphoblastoid cell line (LCL) in vitro, can be used to target EBV-positive malignancies. Although these preparations are enriched for EBV antigen-specific CD8(+) T cells, most also contain a CD4(+) T-cell population whose specificity is unknown. Here, we show that, although CD4(+) T-cell clones derived from such cultures recognize HLA class II-matched LCLs but not mitogen-activated B lymphoblasts, many (1) do not map to any known EBV antigen, (2) can be raised from EBV-naive as well as EBV-immune persons, and (3) can recognize a broad range of human B lymphoma-derived cell lines irrespective of EBV genome status, providing those lines to express the relevant HLA class II-restricting allele.

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Aug
2009

Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is associated with malignant diseases of lymphoid and epithelial cell origin. The tropism of EBV is due to B-cell-restricted expression of CD21, the major receptor molecule for the virus. However, efficient infection of CD21- epithelial cells can be achieved via transfer from EBV-coated B cells.

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Jun
2009

Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) persists in the immune host by preferentially colonizing the isotype-switched (IgD(-)CD27(+)) memory B-cell pool. In one scenario, this is achieved through virus infection of naive (IgD(+)CD27(-)) B cells and their differentiation into memory via germinal center (GC) transit; in another, EBV avoids GC transit and infects memory B cells directly. We report 2 findings consistent with this latter view.

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Mar
2009

Two factors contribute to Burkitt lymphoma (BL) pathogenesis, a chromosomal translocation leading to c-myc oncogene deregulation and infection with Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). Although the virus has B cell growth-transforming ability, this may not relate to its role in BL since many of the transforming proteins are not expressed in the tumor. Mounting evidence supports an alternative role, whereby EBV counteracts the high apoptotic sensitivity inherent to the c-myc-driven growth program.

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Feb
2009

EBV persists for life in the human host while facing vigorous antiviral responses that are induced upon primary infection. This persistence supports the idea that herpesviruses have acquired dedicated functions to avoid immune elimination. The recently identified EBV gene product BNLF2a blocks TAP.

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Feb
2009

CD8(+) T cells specific for EBV latent cycle epitopes can be reactivated in vitro by stimulating with the autologous EBV-transformed B lymphoblastoid cell line (LCL). The resultant CD8(+) clones kill epitope peptide-loaded targets, but frequently do not kill or show only low levels of lysis of the unmanipulated LCL in 5-h cytotoxicity assays. However, they reproducibly show clear LCL recognition in cytokine (IFN-gamma) release assays and inhibit LCL outgrowth in long-term coculture assays.

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Jan
2009

To investigate how intense Plasmodium falciparum infection predisposes to Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-positive Burkitt lymphoma (BL), we analyzed the effect of acute malaria on existing EBV-host balance.
EBV genome loads in peripheral blood mononuclear cells were assayed by quantitative polymerase chain reaction, and EBV-specific CD8(+) T cell responses were assayed by interferon-gamma enzyme-linked immunospot assay.
Gambian children, from whom samples were obtained during an acute malaria attack and again up to 6 weeks later, had extremely high viral loads, reaching levels that in the United Kingdom are seen only in patients with infectious mononucleosis.

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Jan
2009

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) primarily replicates within the liver, leading to hepatitis, fibrosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma. Infection is also associated with B-cell abnormalities, suggesting an association of the virus with B cells. The infectious JFH-1 strain of HCV can bind primary and immortalized B cells but fails to establish productive infection.

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Oct
2008

The bone marrow plays a unique role within the immune system. We compared the phenotype and function of virus-specific CD8(+) T cells from matched samples of human peripheral blood and bone marrow. Analysis of virus-specific memory CD8(+) T cells showed widely divergent partition of antigen-specific populations between blood and bone marrow.

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Aug
2008

Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) persists in healthy virus carriers within the immunoglobulin (Ig)D(-)CD27(+) (class-switched) memory B-cell compartment that normally arises through antigen stimulation and germinal center transit. Patients with X-linked lymphoproliferative disease (XLP) lack such class-switched memory B cells but are highly susceptible to EBV infection, often developing fatal symptoms resembling those seen in EBV-associated hemophagocytic syndrome (EBV-AHS), a disease caused by aberrant virus entry into the NK- or T-cell system. Here we show that XLP patients who survive primary EBV exposure carry relatively high virus loads in the B-cell, but not the NK- or T-cell, compartment.

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