The Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is a ubiquitous Herpes virus which causes infectious mononucleosis and is associated with such different neoplasms as Burkitt's lymphoma and nasopharyngeal carcinoma. EBV latently infects its target cells; nevertheless, evidence of viral replication in NPC tumours has been uncovered. Among the EBV transactivators, the ZEBRA protein plays a crucial role in switching the virus from a latent to a productive mode. ZEBRA protein was produced using a eukaryotic expression vector: the open reading frame containing the BZFLI cDNA has previously been inserted down-stream from the adenovirus major late promoter leading to expression of a 38-kDa nuclear protein. We performed serological studies by employing ZEBRA protein expressed in human cells for immunofluorescence and Western-blot assays. We were able to detect IgG anti-ZEBRA antibodies (IgG/ZEBRA) in 87% of NPC patients. These antibodies were absent in control sera; IgG/ZEBRA antibodies can be proposed as a useful marker for diagnosis of NPC tumors.