Primary immunodeficiencies predisposed to Epstein-Barr virus-driven haematological diseases

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Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), a ubiquitous human herpesvirus, maintains lifelong subclinical persistent infections in humans. In the circulation, EBV primarily infects the B cells, and protective immunity is mediated by EBV-specific cytotoxic T cells (CTLs) and natural killer (NK) cells. However, EBV has been linked to several devastating diseases, such as haemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) and lymphoproliferative diseases in the immunocompromised host. Some types of primary immunodeficiencies (PIDs) are characterized by the development of EBV-associated complications as their predominant clinical feature. The study of such genetic diseases presents an ideal opportunity for a better understanding of the biology of the immune responses against EBV. Here, we summarize the range of PIDs that are predisposed to EBV-associated haematological diseases, describing their clinical picture and pathogenetic mechanisms.

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