Evaluation of the presence of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) in Iranian patients with thyroid papillary carcinoma

Pathol Res Pract. 2017 Jul;213(7):854-856. doi: 10.1016/j.prp.2017.01.020. Epub 2017 Jan 28.


Background and purpose: Papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) is the most common thyroid cancer. EBV is one of the most important viruses related to different types of malignancies. This study investigated the relationship between EBV and papillary thyroid carcinoma.

Material and methods: In this study the presence of Epstein-Barr Nuclear Antigen 1 (EBNA1) gene in papillary thyroid carcinoma tissues were examined by nested-PCR method. Paraffin-embedded tissues (N=41) blocks of thyroid cancer were used. DNA was extracted from all samples and then samples were evaluated for the presence of EBV gene.

Results: In 41 samples, EBNA1 was detected in 65.8% of patients with papillary thyroid carcinoma which was significantly higher in younger ages.

Conclusion: The significant presence of EBV genome in papillary thyroid carcinoma suggests that this virus may play a role in this cancer especially in younger ages. As a result, monitoring of patients with EBV latent infection for PTC can be very important.

Keywords: Epstein-Barr virus; Papillary thyroid carcinoma; Polymerase Chain Reaction.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Carcinoma, Papillary / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Papillary / virology*
  • DNA, Viral / genetics*
  • DNA, Viral / isolation & purification
  • Epstein-Barr Virus Infections / diagnosis
  • Epstein-Barr Virus Infections / virology*
  • Epstein-Barr Virus Nuclear Antigens / genetics*
  • Epstein-Barr Virus Nuclear Antigens / isolation & purification
  • Female
  • Herpesvirus 4, Human / genetics*
  • Herpesvirus 4, Human / isolation & purification
  • Humans
  • Iran
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Thyroid Cancer, Papillary
  • Thyroid Neoplasms / pathology
  • Thyroid Neoplasms / virology*
  • Young Adult


  • DNA, Viral
  • Epstein-Barr Virus Nuclear Antigens
  • EBV-encoded nuclear antigen 1