CC BY 4.0 · Global Medical Genetics 2020; 07(02): 051-063
DOI: 10.1055/s-0040-1715641
Original Article

From Anti-EBV Immune Responses to the EBV Diseasome via Cross-reactivity

Darja Kanduc
1  Department of Biosciences, Biotechnologies, and Biopharmaceutics, University of Bari, Bari, Italy
Yehuda Shoenfeld
2  Zabludowicz Center for Autoimmune Diseases, Sheba Medical Center, Tel-Aviv University School of Medicine, Tel-Hashomer, Israel
3  I.M. Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation, Sechenov University, Moscow, Russia
› Author Affiliations
Funding None.


Sequence analyses highlight a massive peptide sharing between immunoreactive Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) epitopes and human proteins that—when mutated, deficient or improperly functioning—associate with tumorigenesis, diabetes, lupus, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and immunodeficiencies, among others. Peptide commonality appears to be the molecular platform capable of linking EBV infection to the vast EBV-associated diseasome via cross-reactivity and questions the hypothesis of the “negative selection” of self-reactive lymphocytes. Of utmost importance, this study warns that using entire antigens in anti-EBV immunotherapies can associate with autoimmune manifestations and further supports the concept of peptide uniqueness for designing safe and effective anti-EBV immunotherapies.

Supplementary Material

Publication History

Publication Date:
31 August 2020 (online)

© 2020. The Author(s). This is an open access article published by Thieme under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, permitting unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction so long as the original work is properly cited. (

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