To investigate if viruses are involved in the pathogenesis of vestibular schwannomas (VS), we have screened biopsies from VS patients using different molecular techniques. Screening for the presence of known viruses using a pan-viral microarray assay (ViroChip) indicated the presence of several viruses including human endogenous retrovirus K (HERV-K) and human herpes virus 2 (HHV2). But with the exception of HERV-K, none of the findings could be verified by other methods. Whole transcriptome sequencing showed only the presence of HERV-K transcripts and whole genome sequencing showed only the presence of Epstein-Barr virus, most likely originating from infiltration of lymphocytes. We therefore conclude that it is less likely that viruses are involved in the pathogenesis of vestibular schwannomas.
Keywords: Human endogenous retrovirus K; Next-generation sequencing; Vestibular schwannoma; Viral etiology; ViroChip; Viruses and cancer.