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Blood. 1999 Jun 1;93(11):3949-55.

Direct Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) typing on peripheral blood mononuclear cells: no association between EBV type 2 infection or superinfection and the development of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome-related non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

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  • 1Department of Hematology, Academical Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


In the literature, a correlation has been suggested between the occurrence of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS)-related non-Hodgkin's lymphomas (NHL) and Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) type 2 infection. To further investigate a possible role for EBV type 2 infection in the development of AIDS-NHL, we developed a sensitive and type-specific nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay and analyzed EBV types directly on peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) in three subgroups of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1 infected individuals: 30 AIDS-NHL patients, 42 individuals progressing to AIDS without lymphoma (PROG), either developing opportunistic infections (AIDS-OI) or Kaposi's sarcoma (AIDS-KS), and 18 long-term asymptomatic individuals (LTA). Furthermore, EBV type analysis was performed on PBMC samples obtained from AIDS-NHL patients in the course of HIV-1 infection. The results showed that: (1) direct analysis of PBMC is superior to analysis of B-lymphoblastoid cell lines (B-LCL) grown from the same PBMC samples; (2) in HIV-1 infected individuals, there is a high prevalence of EBV type 2 infection (50% in LTA, 62% in progressors, and 53% in AIDS-NHL) and superinfection with both type 1 and 2 (24% in LTA, 40% in progressors, and 47% in AIDS-NHL); (3) EBV type 2 (super)infection is not associated with an increased risk for development of AIDS-NHL; (4) type 2 infection can be found early in HIV-1 infection, and neither type 2 infection nor superinfection correlates with a failing immune system.

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