Significance of Plasma IgA and IgG Antibodies to Epstein-Barr Virus Early and Viral Capsid Antigens in Thai Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma


Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is an important causal factor of human nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC). High levels ‍of serum IgA and IgG antibodies to EBV early and viral capsid antigens (IgA/EA, IgA/VCA, IgG/EA and IgG/VCA) ‍have been reported in NPC patients. Since specific serum IgA/EA, IgA/VCA and IgG/EA are claimed to be useful ‍serological markers for NPC. In order to evaluate whether plasma IgA/EA, IgA/VCA, IgG/EA and IgG/VCA antibody ‍levels are useful markers for diagnosis and prognosis of Thai NPC, we examined the prevalence of these antibodies ‍in 79 NPC patients, and 127 age-matched controls (47 healthy subjects (HS), 32 cases of other disease (OD) and 48 ‍cases of other cancer (OC)) by using an indirect immunofluorescence assay. The prevalence of plasma IgA/EA, IgA/ ‍VCA, and IgG/EA in NPC patients (55.7, 68.4 and 68.4%) was significantly higher than in the HS (0.0, 0.0 and ‍20.5%,), OD (0.0, 0.0 and 3.1%) and OC (0.0, 0.0 and 20.8%) groups (p<0.05). The prevalence of plasma IgG/VCA ‍in NPC patients (93.7%) was significantly different from those for the OD and OC groups (71.9 and 43.8%) but not ‍for the HS group (89.4%). In NPC patients, the geometric mean titers (GMT) of plasma IgA/EA, IgA/VCA and IgG/ ‍EA were increased with an advanced clinical stage of disease but not IgG/VCA. In contrast, GMT of IgG/VCA was ‍increased with aggressive type of disease (histological type) but not IgA/EA, IgA/VCA, and IgG/VCA. The results of ‍our study suggest that plasma IgA/EA, IgA/VCA and IgG/EA antibodies may be useful markers for diagnosis and ‍assessing prognosis of Thai NPC. ‍