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chronic active EBV-infection

Friday 24 December 2010

After an acute EBV infection, patients can sometimes have persistent EBV infection without underlying immunodeficiency. Initially chronic active Epstein-Barr virus infection was thought to be an infection of B cells , but it is now recognized that they can infect T cells, NK cells and epithelial cells.

The disease is defined as a severe illness greater than 6 months duration that: 1) follows an acute EBV infection with chronic infection of B, T or NK cells, 2) evidence of major organ involvement including fever, lymphadenopathy, and hepatosplenomegaly, 3) increased levels of EBV DNA in peripheral blood and or EBV-EBER or protein positive cells in tissue.

Chronic EBV syndromes are recognized as B-cell and T/NK cell types.

The B cell type of CAEBV is much rarer than the T cell type. The B cell type occurs in Western countries in older individuals than the T cell type.

The T cell type has ethnic associations and occurs mainly in Asians and Native Americans in Mexico, Central and South America. Most EBV-associated T cell lymphomas arise after chronic active EBV infection.



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- Blood stem-cell transplantation for chronic active Epstein-Barr virus with lymphoproliferation. Okamura T, Hatsukawa Y, Arai H, Inoue M, Kawa K. Lancet. 2000 Jul 15;356(9225):223-4. PMID: 10963205

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