Prevalence of Epstein–Barr virus (EBV) in Iranian Breast Carcinoma Patients

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Human Viral Vaccine Department, Razi Vaccine and Serum Research Institute, Agricultural Research, Education and Extension Organization (AREEO), Karaj, Iran.

2 Department of Pathology, School of Medicine, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

3 Departments of Microbiology, School of Medicine, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran


Introduction: Breast cancer (BC) is the most common malignancy affecting females worldwide. Various risk factors play a role in the developing of BC. Infectious agents like viruses have been proposed for this cancer and Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is a widely researched candidate virus. This study detects the presence of EBV-DNA in breast cancer patients. Methods: The study was conducted on 59 formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissue blocks samples of women with breast carcinoma and 11 non-neoplastic breast controls. The DNA was extracted for all the samples. Then detection of EBNA1 EBV was done by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Results: EBV was detected in 6.7% (4/59) of patients while all breast control samples were negative. All patients with positive EBV-DNA were high tumor grades (II, and III). Also, they had a low level of educations. Conclusions: According to our findings, it can be suggested that EBV may have a potential role in breast cancer development. However, this study provides substantial but not conclusive evidence for the involvement of viruses in BC disease development. Therefore, future investigations are needed to elucidate the exact role of EBV in breast cancer.


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