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Ann N Y Acad Sci. 1984;437:238-53.

Homosexual men in London: lymphadenopathy, immune status, and Epstein-Barr virus infection.


By November 7, 1983, 24 cases of AIDS in the United Kingdom had been reported to the Communicable Disease Surveillance Centre. At the same time an increasing number of homosexual men with unexplained lymphadenopathy syndrome (LAS) have been seen in our department. Between December 1982 and July 1983, 14 homosexual men with LAS and 11 healthy homosexual men were studied. Patients with LAS had a high number of lifetime episodes of sexually transmitted diseases, a history of recent sexual activity in the United States (9 of 14), sexual contact with British AIDS patients or other persons with LAS (7 of 14), and hypergammaglobulinemia. Low T-helper/T-suppressor ratios (less than 0.8), due mainly to a decrease in T-helper cells, were found in both groups. Lymph node biopsies showed follicular hyperplasia and hypocellular pattern. All 25 patients studied had antibodies to Epstein-Barr virus capsid antigen (anti-VCA) and 11 had antibodies to early antigen (anti-EA); 13 of 17 were excreting the virus; and two showed no Epstein-Barr-virus-specific regression. Peripheral blood immunoglobulin-producing B-cells from six patients with hypergammaglobulinemia were negative for the Epstein-Barr virus nuclear antigen (EBNA). Five lymph node biopsies showed no EBNA-positive cells. Epstein-Barr virus reactivation is common in the patients with LAS and healthy homosexual men in London, but would not seem to be the cause of the polyclonal B-cell activation or lymphadenopathy.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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