Infectious agents play a critical role in MALT lymphoma development. Studies from Italy showed Chlamydia psittaci infection in 87% of ocular adnexal MALT lymphomas and complete or partial regression of the lymphoma after C. psittaci eradication in four of nine cases. However, C. psittaci was not demonstrated in ocular adnexal MALT lymphomas from the USA. This study was thus designed to investigate further the role of C. psittaci, and other infectious agents commonly associated with chronic eye disease, in the development of ocular adnexal MALT lymphoma. The presence of C. psittaci, C. trachomatis, C. pneumoniae, herpes simplex virus 1 and 2 (HSV1, HSV2), and adenovirus 8 and 19 (ADV8, ADV19) was assessed separately by polymerase chain reaction in 142 ocular adnexal MALT lymphomas, 53 non-marginal zone lymphomas, and 51 ocular adnexal biopsies without a lymphoproliferative disorder (LPD), from six geographical regions. C. psittaci was detected at similar low frequencies in non-LPD and non-marginal zone lymphoma groups from different geographical regions (0-14%). Overall, the prevalence of C. psittaci was significantly higher in MALT lymphomas (22%) than in non-LPD (10%, p=0.042) and non-marginal zone lymphoma cases (9%, p=0.033). However, the prevalence of C. psittaci infection in MALT lymphoma showed marked variation among the six geographical regions examined, being most frequent in Germany (47%), followed by the East Coast of the USA (35%) and the Netherlands (29%), but relatively low in Italy (13%), the UK (12%), and Southern China (11%). No significant differences in the detection of C. pneumoniae, C. trachomatis, HSV1, HSV2, ADV8, and ADV19 were found between lymphomas and controls from different geographical regions. In conclusion, our results show that C. psittaci, but not C. pneumoniae, C. trachomatis, HSV1, HSV2, ADV8 or ADV19, is associated with ocular adnexal MALT lymphoma and that this association is variable in different geographical areas.
Copyright (c) 2006 Pathological Society of Great Britain and Ireland.