Evaluation of multiple antibodies to Epstein-Barr virus as markers for detecting patients with nasopharyngeal carcinoma

J Med Virol. 1997 Jul;52(3):262-9.


Five serological tests were assessed for their sensitivity for screening and early detection of nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC). The tests included the detection of antibodies to various gene products of EBV: viral capsid antigen (VCA) using an indirect immunofluorescence assay (FA), DNase using an activity neutralisation test (NT), Dnase using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), DNA polymerase (DP) using NT, and major DNA binding protein (MDBP) by ELISA. Sera from 100 NPC outpatients and 20 NPC patients, who were detected in a prospective study, were examined. The results showed that levels of antibody to DNase detected by ELISA and to DP detected by NT and the positivity rate for VCA by FA increased with NPC stage. More species of EBV antibody became detectable as NPC progressed. The detection of anti-MDBP antibody by ELISA was suitable for screening for NPC. Anti-DP antibody detected by NT was a valuable marker both for early detection and prognosis of NPC. Detection of anti-DNase antibody by ELISA was the most sensitive method for detection of NPC. No single test was sufficient to detect all the NPC patients and a combination of anti-DNase by ELISA with other tests are recommended to identify NPC patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Viral / blood*
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique, Indirect
  • Herpesviridae Infections / blood
  • Herpesviridae Infections / immunology*
  • Herpesvirus 4, Human / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Nasopharyngeal Neoplasms / blood
  • Nasopharyngeal Neoplasms / immunology*
  • Nasopharyngeal Neoplasms / virology
  • Prognosis
  • Tumor Virus Infections / blood
  • Tumor Virus Infections / immunology*


  • Antibodies, Viral
  • Biomarkers, Tumor