Studying Epstein-Barr virus pathologies and immune surveillance by reconstructing EBV infection in mice

Cold Spring Harb Symp Quant Biol. 2013;78:259-63. doi: 10.1101/sqb.2013.78.020222. Epub 2013 Nov 15.


Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is a γ herpes virus endemic in humans and transforming human B lymphocytes. It causes a variety of human pathologies ranging from infectious mononucleosis upon acute infection to EBV-driven B-cell lymphomas. In humans, EBV-infected cells are under powerful immune surveillance by T and NK cells. If this immune surveillance is compromised as in immunosuppressed (AIDS- or posttransplantation) patients, the virus can spread from rare, EBV-containing cells and cause life-threatening pathologies. We have found that EBV immune surveillance and lymphomagenesis can be modeled in mice by targeted expression of key EBV proteins in the B-cell lineage. As EBV does not infect mouse B cells and mice have thus not coevolved with the virus, EBV exploits basic modes of the host immune response to optimize its coexistence with the host.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Animals
  • B-Lymphocytes / virology
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Epstein-Barr Virus Infections / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Immunologic Surveillance*
  • Immunosuppression
  • Lymphoma, B-Cell / immunology
  • Mice
  • Signal Transduction
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Viral Matrix Proteins / metabolism


  • EBV-associated membrane antigen, Epstein-Barr virus
  • Viral Matrix Proteins