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Int J Cancer. 1998 Oct 23;79(5):481-6.

The Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) major envelope glycoprotein gp350/220-specific antibody reactivities in the sera of patients with different EBV-associated diseases.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology and Pediatric Research Center, University of Montreal and Ste-Justine Hospital, Quebec, Canada.


gp350 of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) induces a strong immune response in EBV-infected individuals, but relatively little is known about the clinical relevance of this response in patients with different EBV-associated malignancies and other diseases. Using our gp350-expressing cell clones, we studied gp350-specific humoral immune responses in the sera of individuals with nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC), chronic symptomatic EBV infection (CEI), Hodgkin's disease (HD), acute infectious mononucleosis (IM) and healthy EBV-seropositive individuals (HI). The titres of antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC) antibodies were highest in HI followed by CEI, HD and NPC. EBV-neutralizing (NA) and gp350-specific IgG antibody profiles in these conditions were: CEI > HI > NPC > HD, whereas IgA titres were the highest in NPC sera followed by CEI and HD. The sera from IM patients were found to be negative for gp350-specific ADCC and IgA activities. Sera from HI were also negative for gp350-specific IgA. A significant positive correlation was found between serum gp350 IgA and viral capsid antigen IgA and a significant negative one between IgM and ADCC titres. High IgA titres were also found in CEI and EBV-genome positive HD in addition to NPC. Importantly, gp350-specific IgA titres were of prognostic value in NPC patients. Our data provide new insights about the clinical relevance of gp350-specific immune responses in these diseases.

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