Detection of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) in human lymphoma tissue by a novel microbial detection array

Joseph Tellez, Crystal Jaing, Jun Wang, Ralph Green, Mingyi Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Background: Infectious agents are estimated to play a causative role in approximately 20% of cancers worldwide. Viruses, notably the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), are associated with 10-15% of B-cell lymphomas and are found at a higher frequency in immunosuppressed patients. In this study, we screened human lymphoma tissues using a novel Lawrence Livermore Microbial Detection Array (LLMDA), a comprehensive detection system that contains probes for all sequenced viruses and bacteria. This technology has been applied to identify pathogen-associated diseases.Results: We evaluated samples from 58 cases with various lymphoid tissue disorders using LLMDA. These included 30 B-cell lymphomas (9 indolent and 21 aggressive type), 2 T-cell lymphomas and 2 NK/T cell lymphomas, 4 plasmacytomas as well as 8 specimens of benign lymphoid tissue. Five of 21 high-grade B-cell lymphomas were positive for Epstein-Barr virus-encoded small RNA (EBER+), while all the indolent B-cell lymphomas were EBER-. Similarly, both NK/T cell lymphomas were EBER+, and the benign tissues were EBER-. We also screened 10 cases of post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorder (PTLD). Five of these cases (4 B-cell lymphomas and 1 NK/T cell lymphoma) were EBER+, and the remaining five cases were EBER-.Conclusions: We have confirmed the reliability of the LLMDA methods by detecting EBV in EBV-positive lymphomas while observing no false-positive results in EBV-negative lymphomas. The LLMDA technique provides a sensitive and alternative method for identifying known viral pathogen associated with tumors and may prove useful for future clinical identification of novel cancer-associated viral pathogens.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number24
JournalBiomarker Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 5 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)
  • Lawrence Livermore Microbial Detection Array (LLMDA)
  • Lymphoma
  • Post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorder (PTLD)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical


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