Epstein-Barr Virus, Burkitt’s Lymphoma, and an African Tumor Promoter
The Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is a ubiquitous human herpesvirus that immortalizes in vitro primary human B lymphocytes. EBV is clinically associated with certain B-cell malignancies in man, such as Burkitt’s lymphoma (BL) in tropical Africa and opportunistic lymphomas in immunodeficiency (1–3). The vast majority of the African BL cases are positive for EBV genomic DNA and also for specific reciprocal chromosome translocations mostly between chromosomes 8 and 14. EBV exists worldwide, but Burkitt’s lymphoma is endemic in tropical Africa (4). In contrast to BL cells, with their specific chromosome changes, EBV-immortalized B cells have a normal karyotype (5). A cofactor(s) or risk factor(s) may therefore have to be taken into account, in addition to EBV, in the determination of the genesis of African BL. Holoendemic malaria may play a role in lowering EBV-specific cellular immunity and stimulating EBV infection (6, 7). We tried a different approach to the study of the genesis of Burkitt’s lymphoma (8).
KeywordsDual Exposure Primary Immunodeficiency Patient Euphorbia Tirucalli Holoendemic Malaria Human Oncogenic Virus
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