The Mono Project : EBV Diseases Research Program
The Mono Project
Our research is dedicated to learning how Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) causes disease and developing a vaccine against it.
Mono is an infectious disease caused by EBV, a member of the herpesvirus family. EBV is one of the oldest and most common human viruses, infecting roughly 90% of adults worldwide. To cause mono, EBV spreads most commonly through the exchange of oral fluids. For this reason, mono has been thought of as "the kissing disease," which we recently have proven to be true.
Besides causing mono, EBV is also a causative agent of several forms of cancer, including Burkitt lymphoma, Hodgkin lymphoma, and nasopharyngeal carcinoma. Additionally, new evidence is supporting the link that EBV plays a role in the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis. EBV is also a risk factor for PTLD in solid organ and hematopoietic cell (bone marrow) transplant patients.
Researchers at the Mono Project are currently partnering with industry to develop a vaccine that could potentially prevent EBV-caused diseases, such as infectious mono, EBV-associated diseases, and MS. A vaccine could also potentially prevent severe illness or even death from EBV infection following transplantation, especially in pediatric patients who have not been exposed to the virus and have no immunity to it. Stay tuned for more updates! To be the first to recieve information on the vaccine progress please subscribe to our email list: http://eepurl.com/cXrEPz
Dr. Bartosz Grzywacz in our group is studying NK/T cell lymphomas caused by Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) with a focus on lymphoma pathogenesis. EBV causes various cancers, most common of them are B cell lymphomas. The aggressive lymphomas of Natural Killer (NK) and T cells are relatively less frequent and include extranodal NK/T lymphoma, nasal type and aggressive NK/T cell leukemia / lymphoma. These lymphomas have a very poor prognosis and are nearly always positive for EBV. Certain individuals show increased susceptibility to these fatal diseases, but the reasons are unknown. At the present time little is known about the mode of infection of these cell types by EBV. We are studying the mechanism of NK cell infection by EBV to better understand the pathogenesis of these fatal diseases.
Chronic mono follows an EBV infection with two patterns, including continuous illness for weeks, months or years after onset or recovery from the acute illness but lingering or recurring symptoms for years. For more information on chronic mono click here to download current literature that has been revised to include herbal therapies. Please read and share this information with your healthcare provider.
Impact of EBV
280,000 cases of mono in U.S college freshmen annually
200,000 new cases of EBV-associated cancers annually worldwide
2.3 million cases of multiple sclerosis worldwide