Epstein–Barr Virus Strain Variation

  • Paul J. Farrell
Part of the Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology book series (CT MICROBIOLOGY, volume 390)


What is wild-type Epstein–Barr virus and are there genetic differences in EBV strains that contribute to some of the EBV-associated diseases? Recent progress in DNA sequencing has resulted in many new Epstein–Barr virus (EBV) genome sequences becoming available. EBV isolates worldwide can be grouped into type 1 and type 2, a classification based on the EBNA2 gene sequence. Type 1 transforms human B cells into lymphoblastoid cell lines much more efficiently than type 2 EBV and molecular mechanisms that may account for this difference in cell transformation are now becoming understood. Study of geographic variation of EBV strains independent of the type 1/type 2 classification and systematic investigation of the relationship between viral strains, infection and disease are now becoming possible. So we should consider more directly whether viral sequence variation might play a role in the incidence of some EBV-associated diseases.


Epstein–barr virus DNA sequence Genome Variation Strain 


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© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Section of Virology, Department of MedicineImperial CollegeLondonUK

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