Medline ® Abstract for Reference 28
Chronic persistent Epstein-Barr virus infection of natural killer cells and B cells associated with granular lymphocytes expansion.
Kanegane H, Wado T, Nunogami K, Seki H, Taniguchi N, Tosato G
Br J Haematol. 1996;95(1):116.
B lymphocytes and epithelial cells are the only cell types known to be infected with Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) in normal individuals. Rarely, EBV also infects other cells, including natural killer (NK) cells, almost always in the context of fatal leukaemias or lymphoproliferative disorders. We report on a 6-year-old previously healthy girl who developed fevers and liver function abnormalities for 3 months. The peripheral blood revealed an abnormal expansion of large granular lymphocytes, comprising 24% of the white blood cells. Flow cytometric analysis of the peripheral blood mononuclear cells showed an abnormal increase of CD16-positive NK cells, 62% of which were EBV-infected by in situ EBER-1 hybridization. The circulating B cells were normal in number, but 18% were infected with EBV by in situ EBER-1 hybridization. Approximately 2 years after resolution of all symptoms and continued good health. 35% of the circulating mononuclear cells were EBV-infected, indicative of persistent expansion of EBV-infected cells. We conclude that abnormal expansions of EBV-infected NK and B cells can be associated with a chronic benign course.
Division of Hematologic Products, Food and Drug Administration, Bethesda, Maryland, USA.