Bacterial Infection and Non-Hodgkin B-Cell Lymphoma: Interactions between Pathogen, Host and the Tumor Environment

Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Jul 9;22(14):7372. doi: 10.3390/ijms22147372.


Non-Hodgkin B-cell lymphomas (NHL) are a heterogeneous group of lymphoid neoplasms with complex etiopathology, rich symptomatology, and a variety of clinical courses, therefore requiring different therapeutic approaches. The hypothesis that an infectious agent may initiate chronic inflammation and facilitate B lymphocyte transformation and lymphogenesis has been raised in recent years. Viruses, like EBV, HTLV-1, HIV, HCV and parasites, like Plasmodium falciparum, have been linked to the development of lymphomas. The association of chronic Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection with mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) lymphoma, Borrelia burgdorferi with cutaneous MALT lymphoma and Chlamydophila psittaci with ocular adnexal MALT lymphoma is well documented. Recent studies have indicated that other infectious agents may also be relevant in B-cell lymphogenesis such as Coxiella burnettii, Campylobacter jejuni, Achromobacter xylosoxidans, and Escherichia coli. The aim of the present review is to provide a summary of the current literature on infectious bacterial agents associated with B-cell NHL and to discuss its role in lymphogenesis, taking into account the interaction between infectious agents, host factors, and the tumor environment.

Keywords: B-cell lymphoma; Helicobacter pylori; bacteria; host factors; lymphomagenesis; tumor environment.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bacterial Infections / complications*
  • Bacterial Infections / immunology
  • Burkitt Lymphoma / complications
  • Burkitt Lymphoma / microbiology*
  • Burkitt Lymphoma / pathology
  • Carcinogenesis / genetics
  • Carcinogenesis / immunology
  • Carcinogenesis / metabolism
  • Helicobacter Infections / complications
  • Helicobacter Infections / microbiology*
  • Helicobacter pylori / pathogenicity
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions* / genetics
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions* / immunology
  • Humans
  • Lymphoma, B-Cell, Marginal Zone / complications
  • Lymphoma, B-Cell, Marginal Zone / microbiology*
  • Lymphoma, B-Cell, Marginal Zone / pathology
  • Lymphoma, Large B-Cell, Diffuse / complications
  • Lymphoma, Large B-Cell, Diffuse / microbiology*
  • Lymphoma, Large B-Cell, Diffuse / pathology
  • Tumor Microenvironment / genetics
  • Tumor Microenvironment / immunology