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Am J Clin Pathol. 2008 Aug;130(2):186-92. doi: 10.1309/2CNAWY6GAR0VQAXX.

Viral studies in burkitt lymphoma: association with Epstein-Barr virus but not HHV-8.

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Pathology Reference Lab, Botucatu, São Paulo, Brazil.


Burkitt lymphoma (BL) is a highly aggressive non-Hodgkin lymphoma, composed of a monomorphic population of medium-sized B cells with a high proliferation rate and a consistent MYC translocation. Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) has been associated with BL with different frequencies depending on the clinical variant. Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpesvirus, or human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8), infects a wide range of normal cells, having a well-established role in the pathogenesis of various neoplasms, including Kaposi sarcoma, primary effusion lymphoma, multicentric Castleman disease (MCD) and MCD-associated plasmablastic lymphoma. In secondary immunodeficiencies, such as HIV-1 infection and organ transplantation, HHV-8 is considered an opportunistic pathogen linked to the development of lymphomas in patients with AIDS and HIV + patients. We studied the association of EBV and HHV-8 by immunohistochemical analysis, in situ hybridization, and polymerase chain reaction in a large number of well-characterized BLs. EBV was present in 45.0% of all BL cases with higher incidence in the pediatric group; most cases were EBV type A. We found no association of BL with HHV-8 in EBV + BL or in EBV-cases, including the HIV + BL group.

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