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Pediatr Hematol Oncol. 1995 Sep-Oct;12(5):489-93.

Effect of interferon-alpha therapy in a patient with common variable immunodeficiency and chronic Epstein-Barr virus infection.

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  • 1Dipartimento di Pediatrica, II Universit√† di Napoli, Italy.


We report an 18-year-old boy with common variable immunodeficiency who presented with splenomegaly as well as left axillary and lateral cervical lymphadenopathy. Main laboratory investigations showed severe thrombocytopenia. Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) DNA was detected in the patient's throat-washing specimens and lymph node biopsy. Lymphocytes from the lymph node biopsy were also positive for EBV nuclear antigen. Serology for EBV and cytomegalovirus was negative. A therapeutic attempt with acyclovir did not influence the course of infection. Six months' treatment with human lymphoblastoid interferon-alpha (IFN alfa) brought about the normalization of clinical and hematologic conditions. Detection on throat-washing specimens carried out 1 year after therapy was negative. Our preliminary experience suggests that human lymphoblastoid IFN-alpha is a valid alternative in therapy of immunodeficient EB virus-infected patients.

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