Last reviewed 01/2018

Epstein Barr virus (EBV) is a member of the herpes family.

It is the causative agent of infectious mononucleosis and has been implicated in the pathogenesis of various types of human tumour:

  • Burkitt's lymphoma
  • B-cell lymphomas in immunocompromised individuals
  • undifferentiated nasopharyngeal carcinoma
  • recent studies have identified other virus-associated malignancies, including Hodgkin's lymphoma, various T-cell lymphomas, and some carcinomas (undifferentiated carcinomas of the nasal type have been observed in the stomach, salivary glands, thymus and the lungs; although these tumours are not invariably associated with EBV)