Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is a ubiquitous herpesvirus that infects the majority of the world population (seroprevalence is greater than 95%). After a primary infection (transmission through contact with saliva), EBV remains latent in B cells. Periodically, EBV can reactivate in immunocompetent individuals. This reactivation is characterized by the production of virions in the oropharynx but is asymptomatic. EBV is the causative agent of infectious mononucleosis. It is also involved in the pathogenesis of several cancers such as Burkitt’s lymphoma, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and nasopharyngeal carcinoma. In immunosuppressed individuals, EBV can lead to B-cell lymphoproliferative disorders. Indeed, the main characteristic of EBV is to cause the B lymphocytes to multiply and subsequently produce a malignant lymphoma. In this context, the measurement of the EBV viral load is particularly significant.
Manufacturer’s package insert, artus® EBV QS-RGQ Kit Handbook, October 2014, Qiagen GmbH, D-40724 Hilden, Germany.