Immune defence against EBV and EBV-associated disease

Curr Opin Immunol. 2011 Apr;23(2):258-64. doi: 10.1016/j.coi.2010.12.014. Epub 2011 Jan 25.


Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), a B-lymphotropic herpesvirus widespread in the human population and normally contained as an asymptomatic infection by T cell surveillance, nevertheless causes infectious mononucleosis and is strongly linked to several types of human cancer. Here we describe new findings on the range of cellular immune responses induced by EBV infection, on viral strategies to evade those responses and on the links between HLA gene loci and EBV-induced disease. The success of adoptive T cell therapy for EBV-driven post-transplant lymphoproliferative disease is stimulating efforts to target other EBV-associated tumours by immunotherapeutic means, and has reawakened interest in the ultimate intervention strategy, a prophylactic EBV vaccine.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Epstein-Barr Virus Infections / immunology*
  • Herpesvirus 4, Human / immunology*
  • Histocompatibility Antigens / genetics
  • Histocompatibility Antigens / immunology
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / immunology
  • Neoplasms / therapy
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Virus Internalization


  • Histocompatibility Antigens