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Epstein Barr Virus *


(516) 794-0404, Fax (5l6) 794-0332

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Dr. Christopher Calapai

Epstein Barr Virus

This is one of the most common viruses in human existence. It is the fourth in a larger family called Herpesviridae, behind Herpes 1, Herpes 2, and Varicella Zoster. It is followed by Cytomegalovirus (Herpes 5), Roseolovirus (6 and 7), and Sarcoma – Herpesvirus 8. Epstein Barr virus is detected in 95% of the population and is usually first contracted in kindergarten/elementary school aged children. It was discovered in the early 1960’s and is certainly one of the most persistent, widespread and dangerous viruses known to man. It is easily spread through saliva, airborne contact (sneezing), as well as prolonged or intimate contact.

Thousands of studies over the years have described it as a link or cause to a variety of illnesses and disorders including: Cancers, Atherosclerosis, Autoimmune Disease, Immune Dysregulation, Meningitis/Encephalitis, and Chronic Fatigue Syndromes. A larger list will follow in subsequent paragraphs.

Its primary action is to invade B Lymphocytes, injecting its DNA into the cell nucleus. This is where transcription of the viral genes occur. This takes a variety of steps, but essentially the cell becomes a virus factory, making thousands of proteins, and sending out its “offspring” to invade all tissue. These proteins are called Epstein Barr Nuclear antigens, (EBNA) and are numbered 1, 2, 3, 3A, 3B, 3C. They are frequently used a part of a diagnostic method to determine viral presence and activity, along with capsid antigens lgG and lgM. Others are called Latent Membrane Proteins #1, 2A, 2B and RNA type proteins. The first category, LMP1 is associated with immune dysregulation, dysfunction, and the inception and progression of cancers. Research has described that in persons with Breast Cancer, if EBV is active, tumor metastasizes much faster. This is because LMP1, as one study described, “puts the brakes on the immune response”. This has bearing on all Cancers if LMP2 is associated with Autoimmune Disease (MS, Lupus, Thyroid etc.)

Replication inside the cell as well as outside the cell (Lymphobastiod cell lines) has been described to have indefinite growth and reproductive potential.

EBV has been detected in virtually all organs and cells and may be extremely persistent in bone marrow.

In its mild or early stages, and depending upon host immune response or strength, it can contribute to a wide range of symptoms. Some of these may occur alone, yet others in combination. They can be mild or severe and debilitating.

These include: Headache, Sore throat, Fever, Swollen glands, Malaise, Fatigue, Exhaustion, Joint pains, Anxiety, Depression, Irritability, Mood Swings, Memory Changes and Loss, Chills, Loss of appetite, Muscle Aches, andeven Rash associated with taking antibiotics. There are those who have nodetectable signs or symptoms while the virus is replicating. The symptomsmight also be overshadowed by other existing medical or psychologicalproblems.

This however, is “The Tip of a Horrible Iceberg”.

It can affect virtually any tissue in the body.

Cardiovascular DiseaseA significant cause and contributor to plaque in the lining of blood vessels.

Viral Cardiomyopathy

Rhythm abnormalities

Autoimmune Disease Multiple Sclerosis, Lupus Erythematosis, ALS Thyroid and probably Pancreatic Dysfunction.

Cancer Head and Neck Cancers, Burkitt’s Lymphoma, Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma, Lymphoma, Gastric cancer, Breast Cancers, Lung Cancer, Lelomyosarcoma, Pancreatic Cancer, Leukemia, Colon Cancer, Cervical and Uterine Cancer, Ovarian Cancer, Skin Cancers.

Others Hepatitis, Stevens-Johnson’s Syndrome, Herpangina, Common Variable Immune Deficiency, Subepithelial Infiltrates, Post Transplant Lymphoproliferative Disorder Kikuchi’s Disease – Lymphadenitis. Etc.

Interestingly and somewhat sadly, as research continues year to year these lists elongate.

What are the true statistics of EBV in the population? This might be difficult to assess. Most physicians never test for it, and when they do they look only at a one antibody type. That view will rarely show the true status of the virus. I have always recommended testing 5 antibodies to get the ultimately clear answer as to active status or not. Without the 5 antibody assay, results could look like a prior exposure. The more comprehensive test includes the EBV Nuclear antigens, Early Antigen as well as the Viral Capsid Antigens.

In years of looking for this creature in my patients, over 75% of patients have tested active for EBV at one time or another, usually at the first visit blood test. Of course many of my patients present with a variety of symptoms including fatigue and aches or pains. But when I look at an accurate list of EBV symptoms and contributions, it is extremely wise to consider this in the differential diagnosis. This is a creature that because of its terrible legacy, should be screened for in all segments of the population.

There are no medications available to date for EBV. It is not likely that there will be in the near future either, because it is a virus that has been seriously downplayed and ignored for decades. The only means that I have seen to help, relates to maximizing the immune response to help control and kill the virus. Intravenous Vitamin C has amazing ability to quadruple Killer cell count and function, and has been shown to have excellent antiviral effect. Immune stimulation specific to an organism is also a mechanism to help fight viruses, bacteria and parasites.

A comprehensive Medical Nutritional Approach to each patient is important to understand the issues behind signs and symptoms of illness. Dealing with the cause is always far more beneficial than just trying to change symptoms.

Please look at the Article section of my website to see research on EBV and all of the aforementioned disorders. At present there are over 400 articles on the site and each week 20 more are added.

Best Regards,


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