Epstein-Barr Virus

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University of Oklahoma Study Abroad Microbiology in Arezzo, Italy[1]

Epstein-Barr budding in a B cell From: msdiscovery.org [2]



| Order = Herpesvirales | Family = Herpesviridae | Subfamily = Gammaherpesvirinae | Genus = Lymphocryptovirus | Species = Human Herpesvirus 4

NCBI: [3] Genome: [4]


The Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is one of the two human host-specific viruses in the subfamily Gammaherpesvirinae, along with Kaposi's Sarcoma, a virus normally associated with lesions in AIDS patients. EBV is a double-stranded DNA virus, making it more stable and less likely for mutations than RNA viruses. It is an enveloped herpes virus, which means it can cause a life-long latent infection. More than 95% of the human population contain EBV antibodies, meaning that they have come into contact with the virus at some point in life and it is lying latent. Many people are asymptomatic when infected, but under certain stresses, diseases, such as mononucleosis, can arise. Herpesviruses are characteristically icosahedral, 20-sided, and 70-100 microns in diameter, and that's what led Epstein to characterize this virus under this family [1]. EBV was found to be the main virus responsible for Burkitt's Lymphoma, and later on was found to be correlative with Hodgkin's Lymphoma and nasopharyngeal carcinoma. A defining marker of a virus is that it requires a host to replicate and survive, and when EBV was being discovered, it was very difficult to grow on any medium.



Infectious Dose and Incubation




Virulence Factors

Clinical Features





Host Immune Response


1.Cancer Virus: The Story of Epstein-Barr Virus