J Med Assoc Thai 1999; 82 (6):593

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Polymerase Chain Reaction Study of Epstein-Barr Virus in High Risk Group of Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma : A Preliminary Report
Luxamechanpom T Mail, Neimhom S , Kunachak S , Kuapaditharom B

The incidence of nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) is relatively high in Thailand. Early
diagnosis which leads to early treatment is crucial, in order to obtain a high salvage rate. EpsteinBarr
virus (EBV) has long been known to be associated with nasopharyngeal carcinoma. Polymerase
chain reaction (PCR) is a sensitive and specific technique for the detection of EBV genome
in NPC. The first generation of members in the families of NPC patients is considered a high risk
group. This study utilized the PCR technique as a screening test for early detection of EBV DNA
in this group and also attempted to compare the result with that of lgA antibody level. The data was
collected from July 1995 to 1996, this included 35 high risk volunteers, 15 males and 20 females.
All subjects underwent telescopic examination and biopsies were performed to obtain specimens
for PCR. Blood samples were also taken to determine serum titer of EBV IgA. All specimens studied
were negative for EBV DNA and low IgA antibody titer obtained. The negative results implied that
either the sample studied was inadequate to detect the low percentage of positivity of EBV in a high
risk population or prolonged infection of EBV in nasopharyngeal mucosal cells is not necessary
for initiation of NPC.
Key word : Polymerase Chain Reaction, Epstein-Barr Virus, Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma

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