Friday, August 3, 2012

Veterinary Highlights: Epstein Barr-like Virus May Cause Cancer in Dogs

Could some cancers be caused by a virus?

Epstein-Barr virus is a virus of the herpes family and it is one of the most common viruses in humans. In humans it also has been associated with some forms of cancer, such as lymphomas.

Apparently, Epstein-Barr-like virus can infect dogs also.

 Not only that, but as in humans, this virus can be also responsible for lymphomas in dogs.

In humans, the Epstein Barr virus infects B cells. It some people, this virus promotes unnatural growth of B cells, which contributes to the development of lymphoma.

Dogs develop lymphomas that share some of the same characteristics.

A team of researchers from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine and Penn’s Perelman School of Medicine has the first evidence that an Epstein Barr-like virus can infect and may also be responsible for causing lymphomas in man’s best friend.

Considering the large percentage of humans is exposed to the virus and only a small fraction actually develop cancer, genetic component is also likely involved.

The better the causes of disease are understood, the better in can be treated.

This makes research, such as this one, very important.

Source article:
Penn Researchers Find Epstein Barr-like Virus Infects and May Cause Cancer in Dogs

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