Epstein-Barr virus DNA loads in adult human immunodeficiency virus type 1-infected patients receiving highly active antiretroviral therapy.

Research paper by Paul D PD Ling, Regis A RA Vilchez, Wendy A WA Keitel, David G DG Poston, Rong Sheng RS Peng, Zoe S ZS White, Fehmida F Visnegarwala, Dorothy E DE Lewis, Janet S JS Butel

Indexed on: 15 Oct '03Published on: 15 Oct '03Published in: Clinical infectious diseases : an official publication of the Infectious Diseases Society of America


Patients with human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection are at high risk of developing Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-associated lymphoma. However, little is known of the EBV DNA loads in patients receiving highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). Using a real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction assay, we demonstrated that significantly more HIV-1-infected patients receiving HAART than HIV-1-uninfected volunteers had detectable EBV DNA in blood (57 [81%] of 70 vs. 11 [16%] of 68 patients; P=.001) and saliva (55 [79%] of 68 vs. 37 [54%] of 68 patients; P=.002). The mean EBV loads in blood and saliva samples were also higher in HIV-1-infected patients than in HIV-1-uninfected volunteers (P=.001). The frequency of EBV detection in blood was associated with lower CD4+ cell counts (P=.03) among HIV-1-infected individuals, although no differences were observed in the EBV DNA loads in blood or saliva samples in the HIV-1-infected group. Additional studies are needed to determine whether EBV-specific CD4+ and CD8+ cells play a role in the pathogenesis of EBV in HIV-1-infected patients receiving HAART.