Is EBV persistence in vivo a model for B cell homeostasis?

Immunity. 1996 Aug;5(2):173-9. doi: 10.1016/s1074-7613(00)80493-8.


We have measured the absolute numbers of EBV-infected B cells in the peripheral blood of healthy persistently infected individuals. Single measurements on a panel of 15 healthy individuals demonstrate that the frequency varies over a wide range from 1-50 per 10(6) B cells. Repeat measurements over 1-3.5 years on several individuals whose frequencies varied over a 10-fold range showed that the variation does not represent the fluctuation in the frequency that can occur within an individual; rather, the frequencies are specific to the individual. The frequency within an individual measured over time is stable and contributes less than 10% to the variance seen in the whole population. These measurements suggest that the level of EBV-infected B cells is tightly regulated and we propose that the same homeostatic mechanisms that regulate the levels of normal B cells also regulate B cells latently infected with EBV.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • B-Lymphocytes / virology*
  • Burkitt Lymphoma / virology
  • Cell Line
  • Female
  • Genome, Viral
  • Herpesviridae Infections / immunology
  • Herpesvirus 4, Human / isolation & purification
  • Herpesvirus 4, Human / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Lymphocyte Count*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Viremia / immunology
  • Viremia / virology
  • Virus Latency