3 years ago

Is Epstein-Barr virus infection associated with the pathogenesis of microscopic colitis?

Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) has been associated with inflammation in the colon, particularly in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Even if a relevant plasmocytosis, similar to IBD, is present in microscopic colitis (MC), the frequency of EBV infection in this setting is unknown. Objectives We aimed to compare the frequency of colonic EBV infection in patients with MC, ulcerative colitis (UC), and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Study design The frequency of colonic EBV infection in biopsies of 30 patients with MC, 30 patients with UC, and 30 controls with IBS was retrospectively assessed. PCR was performed to detect viral EBV DNA in colonic biopsies. In situ hybridization was also performed to identify and localize EBV-encoded small RNA1 and 2 (EBERs) within cells. Results The presence of EBV DNA was detected in 27 out of 30 MC patients, in 20 out of 30 UC cases, and in none of IBS group. The frequency of EBV DNA in MC was significantly higher compared with that reported in UC (90.0% vs. 66.7%, p=0.03). EBERs+ cells were observed in 18 out of 30 MC patients, in only 3 out of 30 UC patients (60.0% vs. 10.0%, p<0.001), and in none of IBS group. Conclusions EBV infection is almost always detectable in the colonic mucosa of patients with MC. Further studies are necessary to confirm this association and to clarify the role of EBV in MC and, more generally, in colonic inflammation.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S1386653217302858

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