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Epstein Barr Virus infection of T-cells and Natural Killer Cells; novel insights and future treatments

Guy’s Campus, London

22 May Sims seminar claire SL Part of School of Immunology & Microbial Sciences Research Seminar Series

Epstein Barr Virus infection of T-cells and Natural Killer Cells; novel insights and future treatments

Speaker: Dr Claire Shannon-Lowe, University of Birmingham

Host: Dr Anna Schurich

The Epstein Barr Virus (EBV) primarily infects B cells in which it establishes an antigenically-silent lifelong latent infection. However, on rare occasions, EBV infects T-cells and Natural Killer (NK) cells which always leads to highly aggressive and life-threatening lymphoproliferative diseases, including chronic active EBV (CAEBV) and haemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH). Importantly, CAEBV and EBV-HLH do not encode pre-existing immune defects that help drive these diseases, yet the EBV-infected cells efficiently evade immune surveillance.

Using a novel in-situ hybridisation technique paired with multicolour flow cytometry, we have comprehensively characterised the EBV-infected and non-infected T- and NK cells directly from patient blood. Which the EBV-infected cells persist, proliferate and ultimately cause the pathogenesis of these diseases


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