EBV-positive diffuse large B-cell lymphoma in a human T-lymphotropic virus type 1 carrier

Infect Agent Cancer. 2009 Jul 6;4:10. doi: 10.1186/1750-9378-4-10.


The development of B-cell lymphomas has been seldom described in HTLV-1 carriers. We present the case of an elderly Peruvian HTLV-1 carrier who was diagnosed with EBV-positive diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. Despite an initial good response to therapy, patient died during treatment due to fatal Pneumocystis jirovecci pneumonia. EBV infection is characterized by B-cell lymphotropism and selective immunodeficiency. HTLV-1, on the other hand, induces T-cell dysfunction and B-cell proliferation. Finally, immunosenescence is characterized by T-cell dysregulation, decreased apoptosis and cytokine upregulation. In this elderly patient, the combination of EBV and HTLV-1 coinfection and immunosenescence may have played a role in the development of this aggressive diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. Furthermore, the immunodeficiency caused by the viral infections and chemotherapy may have played a role in developing life-threatening infectious complications.