The promise of a prophylactic Epstein–Barr virus vaccine

Henry H. Balfour, David O. Schmeling, Jennifer M. Grimm-Geris

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

1 Scopus citations


The worldwide burden of disease due to Epstein–Barr virus (EBV) infection is enormous. Diseases include endemic Burkitt lymphoma, infectious mononucleosis, cancers after transplantation, Hodgkin lymphoma, and nasopharyngeal carcinoma. A prophylactic EBV vaccine has the potential to significantly reduce the incidence and/or the severity of all these diseases. Infectious mononucleosis can be nasty and prolonged with a median duration of 17 days. Patients, especially children, undergoing bone marrow or solid organ transplantation may develop post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorder (PTLD). Preventing or modifying primary EBV infection could reduce the incidence PTLD, and also certain lymphomas and nasopharyngeal carcinoma. EBV is a major environmental risk factor for multiple sclerosis (MS). Contracting EBV is essential to getting MS, and having a childhood case of infectious mononucleosis increases that risk. Vaccinating against EBV could be vaccinating against MS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)345-352
Number of pages8
JournalPediatric Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020


PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

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