Prevalence of epstein-barr virus in tonsils and adenoids of united arab emirates nationals

Suhail Al-Salam, Shamma Al Dhaheri, Aktham Awwad, Sayel Daoud, Ahmed Shams, Mouied Al Ashari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: Given that Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) often inhabits human tonsils and adenoids, it remains to be distinctively determined its prevalence and in which cell and microenvironment the virus is present. Methods: To determine the prevalence of EBV in the tonsils and adenoids of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) nationals and to provide a basis for understanding the origin and biology of EBV-infected cells, the immunophenotype of all EBV-infected cells in 46 tonsils and 46 adenoids was determined by EBER in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry with monoclonal antibodies to T cells (CD3), B cells (CD20), and epithelial cells (cytokeratin AE1/AE3), as well as immunostaining with antibodies to EBV latent membrane protein-1 (LMP-1). Results: EBV was found in 43% of tonsillectomy specimens and 15% of adenoidectomy specimens. All EBV-infected cells were found to be B lymphocytes. About 90% of the infected B cells are found in the interfollicular regions of tonsils and adenoids and the remaining 10% are found within the follicles. There is no significant association between EBV infection, age (P=0.324) and gender (P=0.442). Conclusion: EBV is associated with tonsillar hypertrophy and is prevalent in 43% of our cases. EBV is only detected in B lymphocytes and we believe that B lymphocytes are sites of primary infection and latency. In situ hybridization is the gold standard for the detection of EBV in tissue.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1160-1166
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2011


  • Adenoids
  • EBV
  • Tonsils
  • UAE

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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