An association between the Epstein-Barr virus and Hodgkin`s disease is limited, at least in Western countries, to a minority of cases. The consequent search for a connection between infectious agents other than the Epstein-Barr virus and this malignant neoplasm has been futile until lately. We have recently presented evidence of a possible association between the measles virus and Hodgkin`s disease. This included the immunohistochemical expression of measles virus antigens in 82 (54.3%) of 154 Hodgkin`s disease patients. In addition, measles virus RNA was found by RT-PCR and in situ hybridization in 10 of the 28 Hodgkin`s disease patients studied. We hereby review the existing evidence on an association between the measles virus and Hodgkin`s disease, in view of recent epidemiological findings from Britain that point to the occurrence of Hodgkin`s disease, together with other tumours, following exposure to measles around the time of birth. We suggest the investigation of certain pathogenetic mechanisms as a means of establishing the above association as causal.
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