Background: Lymphoproliferative disorder (LPD) caused by Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is a severe complication of bone marrow transplantation. The EBV strain causing LPD is of either donor or recipient origin, however, available data are limited to only a small number of cases. To obtain solid evidence, comparison of the EBV strain that caused the EBV-LPD with pre-stem cell transplantation (SCT) EBV strains of donor and recipient is imperative. Available techniques rely on the production of EBV transformed lymphoblastoid cell lines and lack sensitivity. Objective: The aim of this study was to develop a simple method for EBV sequence analysis on mouth washings (MWs) and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). Study design: EBV DNA was extracted from MWs and PBMCs that were collected from 20 healthy individuals. DNA was used for sequence analysis, using a polymerase chain reaction for the C-terminus of the LMP-1 gene. Results: In seropositive individuals EBV DNA could be detected in 11/14 (79%) MWs and in 13/14 (93%) PBMC samples. Sequence analysis showed that in 11 out of 14 (79%) healthy individuals sequence patterns could be established. In these 11 healthy individuals 13 sequence patterns could be detected. Eleven of these 13 patterns (84.6%) were unique. These results encouraged us to explore the feasibility of this method on EBV DNA isolated from plasma from 9 EBV-LPD patients at time of EBV reactivation. In 7 EBV-LPD patients 8 sequence patterns were detected. Six out of 8 sequence patterns (75%) were unique. Conclusion: Our method is suitable for strain identification and we intend to use this technique to evaluate EBV origin in EBV-LPD patients.

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Journal of Clinical Virology
Department of Virology

van Kooij, B., Thijsen, S., Meijer, E., Niesters, B., van Esser, J., Cornelissen, J., … van Loon, A. (2003). Sequence analysis of EBV DNA isolated from mouth washings and PBMCs of healthy individuals and blood of EBV-LPD patients. Journal of Clinical Virology, 28(1), 85–92. doi:10.1016/S1386-6532(02)00269-X