Serological evidence for long-term Epstein-Barr virus reactivation in children living in a holoendemic malaria region of Kenya

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Quantitative Health Sciences; Department of Pediatrics

Publication Date


Document Type



Adolescent; Antibodies, Viral; Antigens, Viral; Child; Child, Preschool; Cross-Sectional Studies; Epstein-Barr Virus Infections; Herpesvirus 4, Human; Humans; Immunoglobulin G; Infant; Kenya; Malaria; *Virus Activation


Biostatistics | Epidemiology | Health Services Research | Immunology and Infectious Disease | Pediatrics


To study the long term the effects of chronic exposure to P. falciparum malaria on Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) reactivation in children, EBV-specific antibody levels were measured in a cross-sectional survey of two groups of Kenyan children with divergent malaria exposure, varying in age from 1 to 14 years. A total of 169 children were analyzed within three age groups (1-4 years, 5-9 years and 10-14 years). Using a Luminex assay, elevated levels of IgG to EBV lytic and latent antigens were observed in children from the holoendemic malaria area; these remained elevated for each age group studied. In comparison, children from the sporadic malaria area had lower levels of EBV-specific IgG antibodies and these levels declined across age groups. These data suggest that chronic exposure to malaria may lead to long-term EBV reactivation.

DOI of Published Version



J Med Virol. 2009 Jun;81(6):1088-93. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of medical virology

PubMed ID


Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed