About this Research Topic
Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is an ubiquitous human herpesvirus 4 (HHV4) that establishes latent infections in high percentage of the adult population worldwide. EBV genome codes more than 85 proteins, only a few are well known: there are six nuclear antigens (EBNAs 1, 2, 3A, 3B, and 3C, and EBNA-LP); three latent membrane proteins (LMPs 1, 2A, 2B) also known as latent genes; small non-polyadenylated RNAs, EBERs 1 and 2 in addition to microRNAs (miR-BHRF1 and miR-BART).
Population-wide prevalence of EBV varies among studies and countries and closely reflects age and behavior as well as life style. Today, it is well- established that infection with EBV can be linked to cancer, including Hodgkin and Burkitts lymphoma as well as nasopharyngeal carcinomas. The incidence, of these malignancies, is deemed as surrogate indicator for EBV infection in countries lacking epidemiological studies. EBV infection is also implicated in other human carcinomas. Current estimates indicate that EBV causes 500,000 new cancer cases annually, accounting for approximately 4% of cancer burden worldwide. On the other hand, it is important to highlight that recent investigations have revealed the involvement of EBV in other very common cancers such breast, colorectal and gastric, which would heighten EBV burden in human cancers.
EBV has been detected in all populations and all areas of the world (IARC), but with noticeable geographical variation in the distribution of EBV genotypes. Two major types of EBV, type 1 and 2, have been described in humans, varying in the genes that encode some of the nuclear proteins in latently infected cells. It is assumed that the geographical distribution of the two types in EBV-associated diseases reflects the general prevalence in the areas involved. However, there seems to be no clear association between the two types and specific diseases.
As we mentioned above, EBV has been implicated in the development of a wide variety of benign and malignant diseases especially human carcinomas. Therefore, in this special issue we will focus on the presence and role of EBV onco-proteins (LMPs and EBNAs) in the initiation and progression of human carcinomas such breast, colorectal, gastric, oral and cervical cancers. In addition, we are planning to encourage authors to emphasize their efforts on the cooperation role of EBV with other oncoviruses, such high-risk HPVs, in the development of certain human carcinomas.
Regarding EBV infection prevention, we will try to highlight the role of EBV upcoming vaccine in EBV infection which can play an important in the prevention of EBV-related cancers. Meanwhile, authors can discuss the life style and behavior issues in relation with EBV infection.
This Research Topic aspires to provide a platform for research papers, reviews, perspectives and thought provoking opinions and ideas about EBV infection and its role in human carcinomas as well as its socio-economic disparity in incidence, prevention using upcoming vaccine This should pave the way to translate findings into cost effective strategies to eliminate EBV infection and its related cancers worldwide.
Keywords: EBV, onco-proteins, breast cancer, colorectal cancer, oral cancer, cervical cancer
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