Screening for herpesvirus genomes in common acute lymphoblastic leukemia

J. Mackenzie, A. Gallagher, R. A. Clayton, J. Perry, O. B. Eden, A. M. Ford, M. F. Greaves, R. F. Jarrett

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    There is epidemiological evidence that infection may play a role in the etiology of childhood leukemia in particular common B cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia. A panel of 20 leukemic samples (panel 1) was examined for the presence of four lymphotropic herpesviruses using conventional molecular techniques. A second independent panel of 27 leukemic samples (panel 2), along with 28 control peripheral blood samples from children with other forms of cancer, was tested for the presence of the same four viruses using sensitive real-time quantitative PCR. While herpesvirus genomes were detected, they were present at very low levels; detection rates and levels were similar in the leukemic and control panels. In addition we surveyed 18 leukemic samples (five from panel 1, six from panel 2 and a further seven samples not previously analyzed) using a degenerate PCR assay capable of detecting the genomes of known herpesviruses plus putative new members of the family. No novel herpesvirus genomes were detected suggesting that a herpesvirus is unlikely to be etiologically involved as a transforming agent in common acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)415-421
    Number of pages6
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2001


    • Etiology
    • Genomes
    • Herpesvirus
    • Leukemia


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