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[Q] Viral symptoms EBV

Giovanni Maga maga at vetbio.unizh.ch
Mon Apr 3 03:47:07 EST 1995

In article <3ln54m$qo2 at dunx1.ocs.drexel.edu>, st91n2ke at dunx1.ocs.drexel.edu
(Matthew Jamerson) wrote:

> Third, EBV, as a member of the Herpes viral family, is thought to behave
> as other Herpes Family viruses (HSVI in particular) - since HSVI is known
> to remain latent in nerve ganglion - why not EBV which is also
> characterized as a chronic infective agent.

EBV *is* an herpesvirus (it's not thought to be), but not all the
herpesviruses are equal. They differ profundly in their pathogenetic effect
as well as in the symptoms they cause. So, the fact that EBV and HSV (why
in particular HSV1? is there anything you do not like in HSV2 or VZV or CMV
or HHV-6?) are both belonging to the human herpesviruses does not allow to
conclude that both behave in the same way (which is indeed not true). One
common feature is that they can undergo to latent infections, but the way
they do is indeed different. EBV is lymphotrophic, thus infecting only
lymphocytes, whereas HSV-1, HSV-2 and VZV infect epithelial cells (causing
a lytic infection) and then go to the peripheral neuronal ganglia by
retroaxonal movement where they become latent. EBV is also peculiar in its
effects on infected cells, which have led to the current hypothesis of an
active involvement of this virus in the ethiology of Burkitt's lymphoma
(together with the well-known chromosomal translocations). In fact EBV is
considered an oncogenic virus, contrary to most of the other herpesviruses.
HSV-2 is also considered oncogenic since there are epidemiological
correlations between infections and genital cancer in women and there are
some clues also for a role of CMV in other types of cancer, but this last
is just an hypothesis. There are also claims for a role of a herpes or
herpes-like virus in kaposi's sarcoma. But this issue is still hot and you
could find more in journals.
maga at vetbio.unizh.ch 

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