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“Kissing Disease” Promotes Cancer Risk

The Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV), a common herpes virus, causes mononucleosis which is often called “mono” or “the kissing disease” and is spread through saliva. People between the ages of 15 to 30 are most at risk to contract mono, with symptoms similar to the flu including fatigue, fever, muscle weakness, sore throat, and swollen lymph nodes. Infection and related symptoms usually last between one and two months. Surprisingly, EBV is present asymptomatically in over 90% of the world population. However, EBV has been implicated in several diseases including Burkitt lymphoma, gastric cancer, Hodgkin’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis.

In recent years, EBV has also been linked with breast cancer in women. Genetics and environmental factors can increase the risk of breast cancer in some women. However, researchers have discovered that infection with EBV may also put some women at an increased risk of developing malignant breast cancer. Young women with EBV may have breast epithelial cells infected by the virus that makes them more susceptible later on in life to facilitate breast cancer formation. This report suggests an EBV infection could predispose women to developing breast cancer and warrants further research for detection, treatment and prevention of breast cancer. Although additional studies will be needed, an EBV vaccine for children may play a protective role against EBV-associated cancer later in life.

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Enzo Life Sciences provides a wide variety of products for your Cancer research needs. Our product portfolio also includes a BIO-PROBE® Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) probe. The BIO-PROBE® Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) probe can be used in a variety of hybridization techniques, including Southern blots, Northern blots or dot blots. The hybridized biotinylated DNA probe can be detected by its interaction with biotin-binding proteins, such as avidin, streptavidin, or antibodies coupled to fluorescent dyes or color producing enzymes.

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