Send to

Choose Destination
Nat Rev Immunol. 2003 Oct;3(10):801-12.

B cells under influence: transformation of B cells by Epstein-Barr virus.

Author information

Institute for Genetics, Department of Internal Medicine I, University of Cologne, 50931 Cologne, Germany.


Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is an extremely successful virus, infecting more than 90% of the human population worldwide. After primary infection, the virus persists for the life of the host, usually as a harmless passenger residing in B cells. However, EBV can transform B cells, which can result in the development of malignant lymphomas. Intriguingly, the three main types of EBV-associated B-cell lymphoma - that is, Burkitt lymphoma, Hodgkin lymphoma and post-transplant lymphomas - seem to derive from germinal-centre B cells or atypical survivors of the germinal-centre reaction in most, if not all, cases, indicating that EBV-infected germinal-centre B cells are at particular risk for malignant transformation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Nature Publishing Group
Loading ...
Support Center