Journal Article

A Case of Severe Chronic Active Infection with Epstein-Barr Virus: Immunologic Deficiencies Associated with a Lytic Virus Strain

Fritz Schwarzmann, Rüdiger von Baehr, Michael Jäger, Nadja Prang, Stephan Böhm, Udo Reischl, Hans Wolf and W. P. Bieger

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 29, issue 3, pages 626-631
Published in print September 1999 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online September 1999 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/598645
A Case of Severe Chronic Active Infection with Epstein-Barr Virus: Immunologic Deficiencies Associated with a Lytic Virus Strain

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Infectious mononucleosis (IM) is a self-limiting, lymphoproliferative disease induced by primary infection with the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). Infection with EBV leads in general to lifelong asymptomatic persistence of the virus. We report the case of a woman who acquired IM at the age of 15 years and then suffered from recurrent high fever, fatigue, and signs of immunologic disorder for more than 12 years until she died of liver failure. In an attempt to describe and to define the course of chronic active infection with EBV, we performed immunologic and molecular assays that demonstrated lytic replication of EBV in the Band T cells of the peripheral blood. In addition to signs of humoral and cellular immune deficiency, we detected an EBV strain with an impaired capability to immortalize B cells and a tendency to lytic replication, thus contributing to the pathogenesis of this chronic active infection.

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Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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