Presence of EBV Antibodies in Sera from Wild Chimpanzees


THE marked geographical distribution of Burkitt's lymphoma in Africa has suggested that the aetiological agent is infectious and arthropod-borne1,2. A herpes-like virus, first described by Epstein et al.3, has been associated consistently with lymphoid cells cultured from cases of Burkitt's lymphoma4. Furthermore, immunofluorescent tests, using Burkitt lymphoma cells, have demonstrated antibodies against this Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) in all sera from patients with Burkitt's lymphoma and in sera from many healthy African controls living in the endemic regions5–6. These observations indicate that EBV infection is widespread, and suggest that the virus in some individuals might be involved in the development of Burkitt's tumour.

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LEVY, J., LEVY, S., HIRSHAUT, Y. et al. Presence of EBV Antibodies in Sera from Wild Chimpanzees. Nature 233, 559–560 (1971).

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