Molecular Screening for Epstein-Barr virus (EBV): Detection of Genomic EBNA-1, EBNA-2, LMP-1, LMP-2 Among Vietnamese Patients with Nasopharyngeal Brush Samples

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Faculty of Biology and Biotechnology, University of Science, Vietnam National University, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

2 Faculty of Biotechnology, Ho Chi Minh City Open University, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

3 Cho Ray Hospital, Vietnam.


Epstein-Bar virus (EBV) is considered to be intimately associated with development of nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC), the most common and high incidence cancer of the head and neck in Asian countries, especially in Vietnam. In this study, we validated associations between highly conserved segments of the EBV genome, including EBNA-1, EBNA-2, LMP-1, LMP-2 and nasopharyngeal cancer, with the aim of applications with non-invasive brush samples for early diagnosis and as a prognostic biomarker. The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was performed to assess the presence of EBNA-1, EBNA-2, LMP-1, LMP-2 in nasopharyngeal brush samples from Vietnamese NPC patients and non-cancer controls. Positive rates for EBNA-1, EBNA-2, LMP-1, LMP-2 were 46.3%, 49.5% and 45.3%, and 47.4%, respectively, in cancer cases, much higher than the low frequencies found in non-cancer samples. Notably, at least one of the four (PI ≥ 0.25) was found in 57. 9%. Significance was reached when computing the odds ratio (OR) and relative risk (RR). Our detection of candidate genes. in nasopharyngeal brush samples collected from Vietnamese patients reduces the need for invasive biopsies and fulfills the characteristics of a non-invasive, specific screening method suitable for routine, NPC risk assessment for EBV-infected populations. Notably, this procedure may be useful for confirmatory screening with large oral brush swabs.


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