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Only weak and/or short-lived antibody response – Heilpraxis



Epstein-Barr Virus: Extremely Ineffective Antibody Response

This Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is widespread. In most cases, infection with the pathogen has no consequences, but the virus can also cause serious illness. Researchers now report that the antibody response unexpected compared to that of other viruses ineffective is.

Infection with the Epstein-Barr virus, EBV for short, usually occurs in early childhood and then usually runs its course without symptoms and has no consequences in most people. However, the virus can also cause serious illnesses. It is known to cause approximately 200,000 cancer cases worldwide each year, reports the German Center for Infection Research (DZIF). However, the antibody response to this pathogen is weak and/or short-lived, as reported in the review “PLOS pathogensshows a published study.

The infection persists for life

Over 90% of the population will be infected with the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) in their lifetime. Acute infection with the virus can cause glandular fever, which usually affects the general well-being of the affected person for a few weeks, writes the University of Duisburg-Essen (UDE) in a current issue. Message.

However, the body is not able to completely eradicate an EBV infection, so this a long life consists. While for most infected people this chronic viral infection has no other side effects, some infected people tend to develop certain types of cancer.

Previous strategies to develop a vaccine against EBV aimed at stimulating so-called neutralizing antibodies, which bind to viruses in order to prevent cell infection.

However, this strategy has so far only been able to relieve the symptoms of glandular fever, but no infections avoided will be.

A virologist from the UDE Medical School’s Institute for Translational Research in HIV, together with colleagues from the American Ragon Institute at MGH, MIT and Harvard, has now taken a closer look at how the antibody response in the Course of EBV infection has been developed in detail.

According to information, through this work, a better understanding whether other immune functions, also stimulated by the antibodies, could possibly be considered as the basis of a new vaccination strategy.

Weak antibody response

The researchers found that the antibody response was weak and/or short-lived compared to other known viruses. “In the first year of infection, only one in four was tested EBV proteins developed a functional antibody response”explains junior professor Christina Karsten, first author of the study.

“In principle, this antibody response can lead to destruction infected cells and may play an important role in controlling the active replication of the virus in the acute phase of infection”according to the scientist.

“But even though it was developed in everyone tested, it is obviously not sufficient in its naturally stimulated form to stop the infection. to effectively extinguish.”

Significant differences with the results described previously

The researchers also found evidence that more than a year after infection additional weak antibody functions mature against other EBV proteins.

The authors Concludereported that EBV can induce several non-neutralizing antibody responses not previously described. It is possible that this type of antibody response could be stimulated and exploited as part of a new vaccine strategy.

“The antibody response to EBV is markedly different from what has been previously described using the same technology for all other viruses studied”, says Jun.-Prof. Carlsten “Our data suggest that EBV with yet unknown mechanisms prevents the formation of a protective antibody response.

According to experts, future studies should show whether the newly described antibody responses actually contribute to protection against EBV infection and its consequences. (ad)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the specialized medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been verified by health professionals.


  • University of Duisburg-Essen: Epstein-Barr virus: Unexpectedly inefficient antibody response, (accessed: October 10, 2022), University of Duisburg-Essen
  • Christina B Karsten, Yannic C Bartsch, Sally A Shin, Matthew D Slein, Howard M Heller, Kumaran Kolandaivelu, Jaap M Middeldorp, Galit Alter, Boris Julg: Evolution of functional antibodies following acute Epstein-Barr virus infection; in: PLOS Pathogens, (published: 2022-09-06), PLOS pathogens
  • German Center for Infection Research: Epstein-Barr virus: DZIF and Helmholtz Munich develop vaccine (Accessed October 10, 2022), German Center for Infection Research

Important Note:
This article contains general advice only and should not be used for self-diagnosis or treatment. It cannot substitute a visit to the doctor.

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