Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is one of the human gammaherpesviruses. Sometimes called human herpesvirus 4 (HHV-4), it is one of the eight known human herpesviruses and is in the same subfamily as human herpesvirus type 8 (HHV-8). During the latent phase of infection, the host shows no visible signs of infection and levels of infectious agents are very low. EBV has been implicated with Hodgkin’s disease, in B-cell type lymphomas, and in patients that were immunologically impaired, such as post-transplant lymphproliferative disease (PTLD) or autoimmune diseases.
IHC and in situ hybridization (ISH) are the preferred methodologies for detection of EBV infection in tissue samples. Two antibodies are used in IHC:
- EBV latent memprame protein 1 (LMP1)
- EBV Epstein-Barr nuclear antigen 2 (EBNA2)