Study Title:

Epstein-Barr virus infection of the colon with inflammatory bowel disease

Study Abstract

Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-infected cells can evoke severe host immune responses, as shown in infectious mononucleosis and EBV-associated gastric carcinoma. To investigate the possible pathological role of EBV in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), we tested for the presence of EBV in the colon in IBD patients.
Surgically resected colonic specimens of 11 patients with Crohn's disease, five patients with ulcerative colitis, nine noninflammatory controls (disease-free area of the colorectal carcinoma), and 10 appendicitis cases were tested using highly sensitive in situ hybridization for EBV-encoded small RNA1 (EBER-1).
EBER-1 was detected in 63.6% of Crohn's disease cases and 60% of ulcerative colitis cases, but not at all in noninflammatory controls and appendicitis cases. EBER-1-positive cells were very rare in the noninflammatory areas of colonic specimens from IBD patients. EBER-1-positive cells were nonepithelial cells (mainly B lymphocytes and a few histiocyte-shaped cells) located in erosive or ulcerative areas of the colonic specimens.
The limited presence of EBV-infected cells in the diseased areas of IBD colonic specimens indicated that EBV infection may be related to such diseases.
Comment in
Cytomegalovirus and herpes simplex virus antibodies in patients with idiopathic ulcerative colitis. [Am J Gastroenterol. 2001]

Study Information

Epstein-Barr virus infection of the colon with inflammatory bowel disease
Am J Gastroenterol.
1999 June

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