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Little Breakthrough: There are different strains of EBV and some cause cancer

Discussion in 'Other Health News and Research' started by Waverunner, Oct 11, 2013.

  1. Waverunner

    Waverunner Senior Member

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    There seem to be different strains of EBV. Some seem to be able to cause cancer.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131010124601.htm

    Oct. 10, 2013 — You might not know it, but most of us are infected with the herpesvirus known as Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). For most of us, the virus will lead at worst to a case of infectious mononucleosis, but sometimes, and especially in some parts of the world, those viruses are found in association with cancer. Now, researchers reporting in the Cell Press journalCell Reports on October 10 have found that the difference between a relatively harmless infection and a cancer-causing one lies at least partly in the viral strain itself.
    The results offer some of the first evidence for the existence of distinct EBV subtypes with very different public health risks. The researchers say that vaccination or other strategies for preventing EBV infection will need to be designed with these most pathogenic, cancer-causing strains in mind.
    "EBV is an important but neglected pathogen," said Henri-Jacques Delecluse of the German Cancer Research Centre in Heidelberg, Germany. "We have made an important step in recognizing that EBV is actually a family of viruses that have different properties, some of which are very likely to cause disease. So, the consequences of being infected with EBV might be different, depending on the strain one carries."
    Delecluse and his colleagues made the discovery by sequencing the DNA of a viral strain dubbed M81 isolated from a Chinese patient with nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC). Their analyses revealed that M81 is highly similar to other viruses isolated from NPCs and profoundly different from Western strains in terms of its ability to infect and replicate within cells.
    The M81 strain can infect epithelial cells and multiply spontaneously at a very high level in all cells it infects, including B lymphocytes, the cells in which the viruses hide, the researchers report. It remains to be seen exactly how infected epithelial cells become cancerous.
    "Our results have made me radically change my strategy to address the problem of EBV-associated diseases," Delecluse said. "The current view is that the virus is essentially the same all over the world and that local conditions explain the different consequences of EBV infection. We now show that the type of EBV also plays an important role. By concentrating on the potentially pathogenic EBV strains, we will soon better understand how EBV causes diseases, and this will also help [in] designing prevention strategies."
  2. Iquitos

    Iquitos Senior Member

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    Interesting that I just watched a video on youtube (I Remember Me (#2?)) in which Dr. Dan Peterson says his first patient of the Incline Village/Lake Tahoe outbreak, May of 1984, had just returned from China and had the "Chinese flu."
    merylg likes this.
  3. anciendaze

    anciendaze Senior Member

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    The idea that there are different strains of EBV, and that some cause cancer is not new. Here's a paper going back to 1980. What is new here is the particular strain. Burkitt's lymphoma is also caused by a different strain of EBV.

    Nobody should be surprised if new viral strains of common viruses keep appearing.
    SOC likes this.
  4. Waverunner

    Waverunner Senior Member

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    What I find annoying is the fact, that nothing is done although we know about these things for a long time now.
    Little Bluestem and heapsreal like this.
  5. anciendaze

    anciendaze Senior Member

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    The pace of change in medicine is set by funerals of doctors, not patients.
  6. August59

    August59 Daughters High School Graduation

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    I think Mantle Cell lymphoma is caused by EBV. I'm pretty sure there was a released this year for the specific treatment of it.

    It's a nasty, mutating virus that is hard to study and understand what all it does. It has lytic and latent phases. It integrates cells and purposely keeps the cell alive for the sake spreading the virus.

    It still bothers me that Dr. Lipkin didn't find more instances of EBV, but someone said it will probably show up when checks blood samples. I thought he had already sampled the blood? There is probably 30 people that have highly elevated levels of EBV antibodies on this forum. Maybe it wasn't antibodies he was looking for, instead was looking for actual virus. Hopefully it will be sorted out in the end.

    The HPV is mutating pretty quickly as there are about 20 - 30 different variants of it, but only #16 and #18 cause cancer.
    Iquitos likes this.
  7. anciendaze

    anciendaze Senior Member

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    It would be hard to name a virus which doesn't constantly mutate. Your suggestion with regard to MCL is possible. EBV is associated with a larger variety of cancers than most people are aware:
    Epidemiological data carry a strong suggestion there must be a cofactor, as there was in the case of Kaposi's sarcoma.

    It is particularly hard to decide where EBV picks up oncogenes, because not only do very similar viruses infect many species of mammals, they can even infect bacteria. This is one clue which makes me think the role of biofilms in disease has been underestimated. The way bacteria swap genes in biofilms is scandalous, without even considering what may happen to viruses. We are still in the dark ages w.r.t. to interactions between viruses and biofilms.
    Iquitos likes this.
  8. Overstressed

    Overstressed Senior Member

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    These co-factors are important, and make it harder to pinpoint direct cause of viral infections. I read recently an article where an infection with malaria + EBV is the cause of Burkitt's lymphoma.

    Best wishes,
    OS.
  9. anciendaze

    anciendaze Senior Member

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    Malaria is caused by a parasite, in Africa commonly plasmodium falciparum. This is yet another interaction we have overlooked in this thread.

    I'm holding off on accepting the hypothesis concerning malaria and Burkett's lymphoma at this point. It has been around since 1969, and I'm convinced there is an association, but that is not the same as causation. Both active infections could be the result of an acquired immune defect. It is also possible that total pathogen load is the factor, and a very different pathogen could cause the same pathology. Malaria is generally not a factor in American Burkitt's lymphoma.
    SOC likes this.
  10. Overstressed

    Overstressed Senior Member

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    Hi anciendaze,

    I was referring to this article:

    http://www.newscientist.com/article...d-to-child-cancer-in-africa.html#.Ul6U2FB_Png

    At least for me, a swollen tongue and bulging cheeks were diagnosed early in the course of my illness. The cheeks got better, the tongue not. I'm wondering now if this parasite is transmitted sexually? I went ill after sex with a person from subsaharan Africa. However, some things in this article sound very familiar: swollen tongue, reactivation of EBV, bulging cheeks... Things I've read here on the forum more than once...

    Best wishes,
    OS.
  11. Wally

    Wally Senior Member

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    Anciendaze (or anyone else),

    1) Do you know if current blood tests are able to identify EBV regardless of subtype?

    2) Does the information described in this article (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120823143747.htm) provide any additional insight into how this particular virus may be playing a role in this illness (too brain fogged right now to process the article in my own brain).

    3) Do you think EBV can become encased in a biofilm making it harder to detect or perhaps encased in another type of parasitic organism (i.e. a fluke or other type of worm)? See, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21823497 and http://www.czlonkamediagroup.com/Parasites.html .

    4) I found this excerpt about EBV in a text book published in 2005, "... one of the most successful viral parasites known to man." (See, http://books.google.com/books/about/Epstein_Barr_Virus.html?id=TRO-wXto8hcC .) It is the "success" of survival of this particular virus that makes me question why so many researchers have been so adamant that there is sufficient evidence to rule out EBV as a key player in this illness. Any thoughts on why EBV should or should not be considered an important clue in at least the partial causation of this illness?

    Thanks for any insight you may be able to provide about the questions I have raised.

    Wally
  12. Daffodil

    Daffodil Senior Member

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    geezus. why cant they just make a vaccine for this damn virus
  13. Charles555nc

    Charles555nc Senior Member

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    If anything you might suspect vaccines as a cause for virus/retrovirus spreading not a cure for them lol. Look up sv-40.
  14. anciendaze

    anciendaze Senior Member

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    There is little problem detecting EBV, the problem is that it is in nearly everyone. What it is doing in there is another problem which is harder to address. Even if it is actively replicating, which shows up in serological tests, you need to know if this is a reactivated infection or new. If it is reactivated, you need to know why it stopped remaining latent. This is where you reach the frontier of medical knowledge.

    Another factor, beyond different types, is where you look for it. There are several important tissue reservoirs which are difficult to sample. You don't want to do biopsies on the dorsal root ganglia, yet autopsies have found damage there. This is also where you find another herpes group virus, varicella-zoster-virus (VZV). This is known to cause shingles, many years after an initial infection described as chickenpox. There is no question at all that herpes group viruses can and do find their way into tissue reservoirs where they can persist for a lifetime, and sometimes emerge as new diseases. Finding these viruses in bone marrow is an indication of poor prognosis for several chronic diseases. Is this the cause of those diseases, or simply a measure of immune dysfunction? I don't know. (HSV and HCMV, other herpes viruses, also turn up in the CNS in rare cases of viral encephalitis. We don't know why this sometimes happens, or why it is rare.)

    I would really like to see what would happen if people became immune to the whole group. I wouldn't push this on the general population, but for those whose health is declining toward disability and death this might be an experiment with acceptable risks.

    With regard to the question of vaccines, I have to remind people that all experiments do not take place in laboratories. Nature constantly experiments with genetic modifications which would never make it past institutional review. Finding wild-type viruses similar to EBV with insertions from retroviruses is not exactly shocking news. This is a route to new retroviral epidemics which tends to be overlooked. Herpes group viruses do jump species, carrying genetic baggage with them. They generally have genomes hundreds of thousands of base pairs long, leaving plenty of room for eight or nine thousand base pairs of retroviral material. Successful insertions of competent retroviruses are extremely rare, but if you run a few trillion natural experiments in parallel, in billions of hosts, the probabilities of turning up a significant new pathogen are no longer negligible. If the host has many similar ERVs, the probability of carrying a short sequence which will reactivate these retroviruses goes way up, while the difficulty of detection also goes way up.

    I'm short of time at the moment, so I'll have to stop here without providing all the links you want.
    Waverunner likes this.

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