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J Clin Pathol. 1993 Oct; 46(10): 931–935.
PMCID: PMC501621

Epstein-Barr virus in normal, pre-malignant, and malignant lesions of the uterine cervix.


AIM--To detect the presence or absence of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) in cervical lesions ranging from normality to invasive malignancy. METHODS--Eighteen randomly selected cases of invasive squamous cell carcinomas of the uterine cervix were examined as well as 25 cases each of normal cervices and those showing cervical intra-epithelial neoplasia (CIN) I, II, and III. DNA-DNA in situ hybridisation, using a biotinylated probe to the Bam H1 "W" fragment of EBV, was carried out in addition to the polymerase chain reaction using specific primer sequences that flank a 153 base pair segment of the Bam H1 "W" region of the EBV genome and which do not cross-amplify other DNA herpes viruses. Positive control material included paraffin wax embedded P3 HR1 lymphoblastoid cells (containing high copy numbers of EBV) and two nasopharyngeal carcinomas positive for EBV. RESULTS--Neither normal nor CIN I tissue was positive. Eight per cent of CIN II tissue was positive; 8% of CIN III, and 43% of carcinomas were positive for EBV. CONCLUSION--The study shows that the virus is present in some cases of cervical carcinoma and to a lesser degree in some premalignant lesions of the cervix, but the exact association between it and cervical oncogenesis, be it causative or incidental, remains to be determined.

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