Epstein–Barr virus vaccine

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A vaccine against Epstein–Barr virus is not yet available.[1] The virus establishes latent infection and causes infectious mononucleosis. It is a dual-tropic virus, causing infection of both B cells and epithelial cells. One challenge is that the Epstein–Barr virus expresses very different proteins during its lytic and its latent phases.

Several clinical trials for a vaccine were conducted in 2006–2008.[2][3][4] The viral proteins Gp350/220 are a primary target,[5] but this would only block infection of B cells, not epithelial cells. MVA-EL[further explanation needed] has been also proposed as a target for EBV-positive cancers, but this would only be effective in combating EBV-related cancers, not the EBV infection itself.[6] VLP (virus-like particles)-based EBV vaccines are also the subject of intensive research.[7]

In April 2018, the first human antibody that blocks Epstein-Barr Virus was discovered, called AMMO1.[8] It blocks glycoproteins gH and gL. This discovery defines new sites of vulnerability on Epstein-Barr Virus, and neutralizes the dual-tropic infection (stopping both infection of B cells and epithelial cells). It is the most promising discovery to date, as it is the first that may be able to block both B cell infection and epithelial infection.[9]


  1. ^ Sokal, E.M.; Hoppenbrouwers, K.; Vandermeulen, C.; et al. (December 2007). "Recombinant gp350 vaccine for infectious mononucleosis: a phase 2, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial to evaluate the safety, immunogenicity, and efficacy of an Epstein-Barr virus vaccine in healthy young adults". J. Infect. Dis. 196 (12): 1749–53. doi:10.1086/523813. PMID 18190254.
  2. ^ Crawford, D.H.; Macsween, K.F.; Higgins, C.D.; et al. (August 2006). "A cohort study among university students: identification of risk factors for Epstein-Barr virus seroconversion and infectious mononucleosis". Clin. Infect. Dis. 43 (3): 276–82. doi:10.1086/505400. PMID 16804839.
  3. ^ Elliott, S.L.; Suhrbier, A.; Miles, J.J.; et al. (February 2008). "Phase I trial of a CD8+ T-cell peptide epitope-based vaccine for infectious mononucleosis". J. Virol. 82 (3): 1448–57. doi:10.1128/JVI.01409-07. PMC 2224445. PMID 18032491.
  4. ^ Moutschen, M.; Léonard, P.; Sokal, E.M.; et al. (June 2007). "Phase I/II studies to evaluate safety and immunogenicity of a recombinant gp350 Epstein-Barr virus vaccine in healthy adults". Vaccine. 25 (24): 4697–705. doi:10.1016/j.vaccine.2007.04.008. PMID 17485150.
  5. ^ "WHO | Viral Cancers". Retrieved 2009-01-15.
  6. ^ Taylor, G.S.; Haigh, T.A.; Gudgeon, N.H.; et al. (January 2004). "Dual stimulation of Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV)-specific CD4+- and CD8+-T-cell responses by a chimeric antigen construct: potential therapeutic vaccine for EBV-positive nasopharyngeal carcinoma". J. Virol. 78 (2): 768–78. doi:10.1128/JVI.78.2.768-778.2004. PMC 368843. PMID 14694109.
  7. ^ "Epstein-Barr virus and cancer: New tricks from an old dog". www.sciencedaily.com. 2017-02-13. Retrieved 2017-12-26.
  8. ^ Snijder, Joost; Ortego, Michael S.; Weidle, Connor; Stuart, Andrew B.; Gray, Matthew D.; McElrath, M. Juliana; Pancera, Marie; Veesler, David; McGuire, Andrew T. (2018-04-17). "An Antibody Targeting the Fusion Machinery Neutralizes Dual-Tropic Infection and Defines a Site of Vulnerability on Epstein-Barr Virus". Immunity. 48 (4): 799–811.e9. doi:10.1016/j.immuni.2018.03.026. ISSN 1074-7613. PMC 5909843. PMID 29669253.
  9. ^ "First human antibody found to block Epstein-Barr virus". Fred Hutch. Retrieved 2018-12-01.