Anti-Epstein-Barr virus antibodies in Beijing during 2013-2017: What we have found in the different patients.PLoS One. 2018; 13(3):e0193171.Plos
Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is associated with nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) which is prevalent in South China, and its association with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) or other autoimmune diseases has not been studied in the mainland of China. The EBV serological tests have been performed on patients with various diseases or manifestations for years at our institution and their values need to be evaluated.
For routine medical purposes, anti-EB viral capsid antigen (VCA) IgG, IgA and IgM antibodies, anti-EBV diffuse early antigen (EA-D) IgA antibodies, and anti-EBV nuclear antigen-1(EBNA-1) IgG antibodies were tested with commercial enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) in patients visiting Peking Union Medical College Hospital between 2013 and 2017. The test results were analyzed in this retrospective study.
There were a total of 11122 serum samples available to be tested in the study. As indicators of past EBV infection, the prevalence of VCA-IgG/EBNA1-IgG were 66.6%/58.5%, 84.3%/78.8%, 92.9%/87.0% and 98.5%/95.4% in patients aged under 5 years, 6-10 years, 11-20 years and 21-30 years old, respectively, and these values maintained at this highest rate as age increased further. The prevalence of VCA-IgM, as a parameter of acute EBV infection, was 14.6%, 10.2%, 10.4%, 6.3% and 3.1% in patients aged under 5 years, 6-10 years,11-20 years, 21-30 years, 31-40 years old, respectively, and decreased to 2%~3% in older patients. Patients with elevated serum liver enzymes were more likely to have a higher prevalence of EA/D IgA antibody (P < 0.01) and young patients (≤30 years) with lymphadenopathy were more likely to have higher prevalence of VCA-IgM antibody (P < 0.01). The prevalence of VCA-IgA and EAD-IgA were 87.0% and 59.2% in NPC patients, respectively, and both were significantly higher (P < 0.001) than that in non-NPC patients. The prevalence of VCA-IgA was 45.4% and 25.6% in SLE patients and patients with other autoimmune diseases, respectively, which were significantly (P < 0.001) and mildly (P = 0.039) higher than their controls. In pediatric SLE patients between 6 and10 years old, the prevalence of VCA-IgG, VCA-IgA and EBNA1-IgG was 100%, 59.5% and 100%, respectively, all being significantly higher than the age (6-10y) related controls (P< 0.01). In the 705 cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) specimens, VCA-IgG, VCA-IgM, VCA-IgA and EAD-IgA were found to be positive in 12.1%, 0.15%, 0.25% and 0.25%, respectively. There were 157 paired specimens (CSF and serum were collected simultaneously) and VCA-IgG was identified as positive in 12.7% of the CSF and 100% of the serum specimens.
Around 98% of Chinese patients were infected with EBV before 30 years of age and the highest rate of acute EBV infection were observed in patients under 5 years old. EBV infection was found to be associated with elevated serum liver enzymes, NPC and SLE. Acute anti-EBV antibody was valued for young patients with lymphadenopathy but limited value for CNS neuropathy.