Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), a human herpesvirus with potent B cell growth transforming ability, induces multiple cellular immune responses in the infected host. How these host responses work together to prevent virus pathogenicity, and how immune imbalance predisposes to disease, remain poorly understood. Here, we describe three ongoing lines of enquiry that are shedding new light on these issues. These focus on: (i) patients with infectious mononucleosis or its fatal equivalent, X-linked lymphoproliferative disease; (ii) EBV infection in a range of new, genetically defined, primary immune deficiency states; and (iii) experimental infection in two complementary animal models, the rhesus macaque and the human haemopoietic stem cell reconstituted mouse.
Trends in Immunology: 2014 Apr;35(4): 159-169