The Epstein-Barr herpes virus (EBV) is known for causing mononucleosis, a highly contagious infection, according to health experts. Mononucleosis can spread easily, especially through saliva and other bodily fluids. Those who get infected with mononucleosis have often experienced fatigue, body aches, and other unpleasant symptoms. Researchers from Cincinnati Children’s determined that this virus can be linked with he risk of developing seven serious health conditions.
The study was led by top experts, such as John Harley (MD, Ph.D., and Director of the Center of Autoimmune Genomics and Etymology (CAGE), Leath Kottyan, Ph.D. immunologist expert, and Matthew Weirauch, Ph.D. computational biologist; who analyzed DNA sequences from a large database. They determined that those infected with the Epstein-Barr virus had EBV-derived proteins that can activate serious genetic mutations in B-cells. B-cells are white blood cells responsible for producing antibody molecules that help our immune system fight off diseases.
Seven severe diseases linked with EBV virus
The study determined that those exposed to the virus who have inherited predisposing gene variants have a higher risk of developing severe conditions such as celiac disease, type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis lupus, juvenile idiopathic arthritis, and inflammatory bowel disease. Unfortunately, statistics mention that 90% of the population has been exposed to the virus by the age of 20.
The EBV virus leaves a copy of its genome inside our B cells (the ENBA2 protein), meaning that the viral genome will replicate, divide and remain inside the body. There is no vaccine against this herpetic virus.
John Harley declared:
The impact of the virus is likely to vary across the diseases,”
In lupus and MS, for example, the virus could account for a large percentage of those cases. We do not have a sense of the proportion in which the virus could be important in the other EBNA2-associated diseases.