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Print version ISSN 0120-4157
On-line version ISSN 2590-7379


ARTURO-TERRANOVA, Daniela; GIRALDO-OCAMPO, Sebastián  and  CASTILLO, Andrés. Molecular characterization of Epstein-Barr virus variants detected in the oral cavity of adolescents in Cali, Colombia. Biomédica [online]. 2020, vol.40, suppl.1, pp.76-88.  Epub Aug 20, 2020. ISSN 0120-4157.


The Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is an ubiquitous and oncogenic virus associated with the development of diseases such as infectious mononucleosis, Burkitt’s lymphoma, nasopharyngeal carcinoma, and other neoplasms. Currently, two types are recognized: EBV-1 and EBV-2, which have genetic differences with their EBNA nuclear antigens. Likewise, due to the high degree of heterogeneity and variability found in the LMP1 protein of the virus, variants associated with pathogenesis or specific geographic regions have been described.


To identify and characterize molecularly EBV variants detected in the oral cavity of 84 adolescents in Cali, Colombia.

Materials and methods:

Conventional PCR amplification, purification, and sequencing of the gen EBNA3C were carried out to typify the virus and the C-ter domain of the LMP1 protein to identify variants. We also conducted a phylogenetic and nucleotide variant analysis of the obtained sequences versus pathogenic or geographic variants reported in GenBank-NCBI.


The predominant viral subtype was EBV-1 (79%); 72.6% was grouped with the pathogenic variant Raji, derived from B lymphocytes of a patient with Burkitt›s lymphoma, 13.7% was related to a variant of Mediterranean origin, and 13.7% was not grouped with any of the reference variants.


This is the first time that variants of LMP1-EBV have been identified in Cali, Colombia. Additional studies are necessary to characterize the unidentified variant and to determine if it is pathogenic or if it is just an isolate present in the city of Cali.

Keywords : Epstein-Barr virus infections; mouth; phylogeny; adolescent; Colombia.

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