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The origin & effects of the Epstein - Barr Virus.

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Introduction

The Origin & Effects of The Epstein - Barr Virus Michael Najdovski 2107931e RMIT University Department of Applied Biotechnology & Environmental Biology AB120 Scientific Methods Contents Properties of Herpes Viruses 3 Table 1.Herpesviruses..................................................................iii Epstein - Barr Virus.....................................................................4 Epidemiology 4 Pathogenesis 4 Disease Association 4 Infectious Mononucleosis...............................................................4 Burkitt's Lymphoma.....................................................................5 Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma............................................................5 Immunocompromised Patients.........................................................5 Transplant Recipients..........................................................5 X-Linked lymphoproliferative syndrome 6 AIDS Patients 6 Diagnosis 6 Vaccination 6 Summary 6 References................................................................................7 Overview EBV, or Epstein - Barr virus, is a virus of the Herpes virus's family. It is associated with various diseases such as infectious mononucleosis, Burkitt's lymphoma, nasopharyngeal carcinoma and other lymphoproliferative diseases (Pagano JS. 1999). It is transmitted from person to person through saliva, mainly through kissing. Almost everyone in the population is eventually exposed to the virus at some stage in their life. Most children are exposed to the virus by the age of 6 and develop a slight fever. For unknown reasons, in teenagers, the immune system overreacts and produces symptoms of infectious mononucleosis. After initial infection, the virus remains in the body and enters a latent phase. It can be triggered when the immune system is compromised as with AIDS patients or organ transplant patients. These people are at risk of developing various tumours and cancers related to the Epstein - Barr virus. There are no known cures for the virus and it is almost impossible to stop it from spreading (Watanabe ME. 1999). ...read more.

Middle

Pathogenesis Once the host is infected they are a lifelong carrier of the virus. The virus spreads latently and is kept unde control by the body's immune system. EBV infects only the epithelial cells of the pharynx and B-lymphocytes (Kawa K. 2000). This happens when the host is infected, EBV infects the lining cells of the pharynx. As the B-cells pass the throat, they pick up the virus and it spreads throughout the body through the B-cells. Eventually it spreads to the lymph centres where it remains latent until the immune system is compromised. EBV is associated with various diseases where it may act directly or as one of several co - factors. Disease Association 1. Infectious mononucleosis EBV is directly related to infectious mononucleosis (IM), which is also known as glandular fever. IM is the primary infection of EBV and in children it is very slight and no clinical treatment is required with symptoms of mild fever. In adolescents however, IM can be more serious and people infected with EBV have a 50% chance of developing infectious mononucleosis (Kawa K. 2000). Once infected, the incubation period in the host is not known. When the infection begins to show the first signs are sore throat and swelling of the neck. The lymph glands and salivary glands also swell. ...read more.

Conclusion

Oral leukoplakia is the manifestation of the virus on the tongue and causes lesions on the tongue. Lymphomas are the second most common malignancy among AIDS patients. Especially brain lymphoma and Burkitt's lymphoma (Derek Wong 1998). Diagnosis In patients wit IM and X-Linked Lymphoproliferative Syndrome, diagnosis can be done by blood sample in which antibodies can be found. With BL and NPC histology (microscope sampling) can be used. With post transplant and AIDS patients, the antibody test can be used along with histology (Derek Wong 1998) . Vaccination A vaccine against EBV should be able to control both BL and NPC along with post transplant recipients. Such a vaccine should be given early in life to prevent complications such as IM. It also should not be a live vaccine as there is a chance of the carcinogenic properties of EBV is present and could cause complications. This vaccine is currently being tested in Africa (Derek Wong 1998). Summary The Epstein - Barr virus is probably the most successful virus worldwide in the respect that everybody is infected. It is practically impossible to stop the virus from spreading so thanks to newer technology; it is being made possible that vaccines can be produced to stop the virus from infecting the host. They are being tried in Africa and if results are positive then there is a chance that the Epstein - Barr virus can be eradicated from the population like so many other illnesses and diseases such as typhoid, polio and so on. ...read more.

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