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Nature. 1988 Jun 2;333(6172):455-7.

Epstein-Barr virus genome-positive T lymphocytes in a boy with chronic active EBV infection associated with Kawasaki-like disease.

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Department of Pediatrics, Hokkaido University School of Medicine, Sapporo, Japan.


Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), a ubiquitous human herpesvirus and an aetiological agent of infectious mononucleosis, has a unique tropism for B lymphocytes. Clinical and laboratory features of chronic active EBV infections are chronic or persistent infectious mononucleosis-like symptoms and high antibody titre against early antigens (EA). Kawasaki disease (KD), aetiology unknown, is thought to be self-limited immunologically mediated vasculitis. Clinical features of KD are fever, rash, mucositis, lymphadenopathy and coronary artery damage. We report here a child with chronic active EBV infection accompanied by dilatation of coronary arteries. All the EBV-determined nuclear antigen (EBNA)-positive lymphocytes had exclusively CD4 antigen, as revealed by dual staining immunofluorescence analysis. Southern blot hybridization showed that the purified CD4+ cells harboured EBV genome.

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