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Viral Studies in Burkitt Lymphoma
Association With Epstein-Barr Virus but Not HHV-8

Eduardo M. Queiroga MD, Gabriela Gualco MD, Lucimara Chioato PhD, William J. Harrington Jr MD, Iguaracyra Araujo MD, Lawrence M. Weiss MD, Carlos E. Bacchi MD
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1309/2CNAWY6GAR0VQAXX 186-192 First published online: 1 August 2008


Burkitt lymphoma (BL) is a highly aggressive non-Hodgkin lymphoma, composed of a monomorphic population of medium-sized B cells with a high proliferation rate and a consistent MYC translocation. Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) has been associated with BL with different frequencies depending on the clinical variant. Kaposi sarcoma–associated herpesvirus, or human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8), infects a wide range of normal cells, having a well-established role in the pathogenesis of various neoplasms, including Kaposi sarcoma, primary effusion lymphoma, multicentric Castleman disease (MCD) and MCD-associated plasmablastic lymphoma. In secondary immunodeficiencies, such as HIV-1 infection and organ transplantation, HHV-8 is considered an opportunistic pathogen linked to the development of lymphomas in patients with AIDS and HIV+ patients. We studied the association of EBV and HHV-8 by immunohistochemical analysis, in situ hybridization, and polymerase chain reaction in a large number of well-characterized BLs. EBV was present in 45.0% of all BL cases with higher incidence in the pediatric group; most cases were EBV type A. We found no association of BL with HHV-8 in EBV+ BL or in EBV– cases, including the HIV+ BL group.

Key Words:
  • Burkitt lymphoma
  • Kaposi sarcoma–associated herpesvirus
  • Human herpesvirus 8
  • KSHV/HHV-8
  • LANA protein
  • HIV
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Polymerase chain reaction
  • PCR