Detection and characterization of latency stage of EBV and histopathological analysis of prostatic adenocarcinoma tissues

Khalid Ahmed, Alisalman Sheikh, Saira Fatima, Ghulam Haider, Kulsoom Ghias, Farhat Abbas, Nouman Mughal, Syed Hani Abidi

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9 Citations (Scopus)


The pathophysiology of prostate cancer involves both genetic and acquired factors, including pathogens, such as viruses. A limited number of studies have shown the presence of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) in prostate cancer tissues. However, there is a dearth of data exploring EBV latency profile in prostate cancer, and the relationship of EBV with histopathological features of prostate cancer. In this study, prostate cancer and benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) samples were screened for the presence of EBV, followed by the characterization of the EBV latency profile and analysis of histopathological parameters in EBV-positive and EBV-negative groups. A conventional PCR strategy was employed using virus-specific primers to screen EBV in 99 formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) prostate cancer and 33 BPH samples received for histopathological analysis during the years 2019–2020. Subsequently, cDNA samples were used in a qPCR array to analyze the expression of EBV latency-associated genes to map the latency profile EBV maintains in the samples. Finally, statistical analyses were performed to determine the correlation between EBV and several histopathological features of the samples. EBV was detected in 39% of prostate cancer and 24% of BPH samples. The histopathological analysis of prostate cancer samples identified all samples as prostatic adenocarcinoma of acinar type, while statistical analyses revealed EBV-positive samples to exhibit significantly higher (p < 0.05) Gleason major and total Gleason scores as compared to EBV-negative samples. In the EBV-positive samples, variable expression patterns of latency-associated genes were observed, where most of the samples exhibited EBV latency II/III-like profiles in prostate cancer, while latency-II-like profiles in BPH samples. This study suggests a high prevalence of EBV in prostate samples, where EBV exhibited latency II/III-like profiles. Furthermore, EBV-positive samples exhibited a higher Gleason score suggesting a possible link between EBV and the onset/progression of prostate cancers. However, future functional studies are required to understand the role of the EBV gene expression profile in the onset/progression of prostate cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Article number10399
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


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