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Eur J Cancer. 2001 Oct;37(15):1853-7.

Detection of Epstein-Barr virus DNA in peripheral blood of paediatric patients with Hodgkin's disease by real-time polymerase chain reaction.

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Department of Pediatrics, Medical University of Lübeck, Germany.


Hodgkin's disease (HD) is commonly associated with latent Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection. The aim of our study was a detailed molecular analysis of the EBV status in the peripheral blood of paediatric patients with HD. Blood samples from HD patients were examined before (n=28) and after treatment (n=12). The control group consisted of 20 healthy children and 10 immunosuppressed children with primary EBV infection. EBV load in plasma and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) were determined by real time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RQ-PCR) as recently described. Before treatment, EBV DNA was detected in the plasma of 13/24 EBV-seropositive HD patients, whereas in plasma of healthy controls no EBV DNA was detectable (P<0.001). After treatment, no EBV genomes were found in the plasma of 6 HD patients in stable and complete remission. In contrast, 2/5 HD patients with relapse of disease were positive for EBV DNA in the plasma. In PBMCs, no differences were found in EBV load measured in HD patients before or after treatment and healthy controls. A high EBV load was found in both the plasma and PBMCs of all immunosuppressed patients with primary EBV infection. Thus, EBV DNA detection in the plasma of paediatric HD patients might be of value for non-invasive diagnostic, prognostic and follow-up tests for HD.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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