Lymphoblastoid cell lines (LCLs) are commonly used in molecular genetics, supplying DNA for the HapMap and 1000 Genomes Projects, used to test chemotherapeutic agents, and informing the basis of a number of population genetics studies of gene expression. The process of transforming human B cells into LCLs requires the presence of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), a double-stranded DNA virus which through B-cell immortalisation maintains an episomal virus genome in every cell of an LCL at variable copy numbers. Previous studies have reported that EBV alters host-gene expression and EBV copy number may be under host genetic control. We performed a genome-wide association study of EBV genome copy number in LCLs and found the phenotype to be highly heritable, although no individual SNPs achieved a significant association with EBV copy number. The expression of two host genes (CXCL16 and AGL) was positively correlated and expression of ADARB2 was negatively correlated with EBV copy number in a genotype-independent manner. This study shows an association between EBV copy number and the gene expression profile of LCLs, and suggests that EBV copy number should be considered as a covariate in future studies of host gene expression in LCLs.