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Eur J Cancer. 1993;29A(11):1584-9.

Disease-related differences in antibody patterns against EBV-encoded nuclear antigens EBNA 1, EBNA 2 and EBNA 6.

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Virolab Inc., Berkeley, California 94710.


Antibodies to Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) nuclear antigen family (EBNA) and three of its individual members, EBNA 1, EBNA 2 (A and B) and EBNA 6, were measured by anticomplement immunofluorescence (ACIF) in sera of 75 healthy controls, 13 patients with chronic EBV infection, 38 with non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), 23 with Hodgkin's disease (HD), 105 with nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) and 7 patients with infectious mononucleosis (IM). Their anti-EBV lytic antigens were also measured. We observed that: (1) anti-EBNA 2A and E6 rose in parallel 4-6 weeks after IM, followed by anti-EBNA 1 at 3-6 months, (2) all seropositive individuals had anti-EBNA 1; 74% also had anti-EBNA 2A and E6, (3) anti-EBNA 1 accounted for most of the anti-EBNA reactivity in non-IM sera. Striking disease-associated differences were noted on the humoral responses to the lytic and transformation-associated antigens. Compared to the controls, anti-EBNA 1, -EBNA 2A and -EBNA 6 were simultaneously four to 10 times higher in chronic reactivations, whereas only anti-EBNA 1 was elevated (10 times) in NPC. Individual EBNA titres were normal in NHL or HD patients.

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