Epidemiologic Studies Assessing the Role of the Epstein-Barr Virus in Hodgkin's Disease
CitationMueller, N. 1987. Epidemiologic studies assessing the role of the Epstein-Barr virus in Hodgkin's disease. The Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine 60(4): 321-332.
AbstractThe hypothesis that an infection plays a role in the etiology of Hodgkin's disease (HD) is suggested by both its clinical and histologic features. Its bimodal age-incidence pattern also suggests an infectious process among younger persons. In economically advantaged populations, the first peak occurs among young adults, while in disadvantaged populations, it occurs among children at a much lower frequency. It appears that the age distribution of HD shadows that of susceptibility to common childhood infections, such as the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV); furthermore, that risk of HD is increased among those susceptible to a relatively late infection, in parallel with infectious mononucleosis (IM), and it has been found that people who have had IM have about three times the expected rate of HD. Serologically, there is a consistent association between EBV and HD. As a group, patients have an altered antibody pattern against EBV which suggests chronic reactivation, both following and preceding diagnosis. This altered pattern is common to all age groups. Severity of infection may alter host control among younger people, while diminished cellular immunity with aging may allow similar reactivation among older persons. Whether the EBV plays a direct role or simply reflects the action of a more primary factor is unknown.
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