Space Flight-Induced Reactivation of Latent Epstein-Barr VirusReactivation of latent Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) may be an important threat to crew health during extended space missions. Decreased cellular immune function has been reported both during and after space flight. Preliminary studies have demonstrated increased EBV shedding in saliva as well as increased antibody titers to EBV lytic proteins. We hypothesize that the combined effects of microgravity along with associated physical and psychological stress will decrease EBV-specific T-cell immunity and reactivate latent EBV in infected B-lymphocytes. If increased virus production and clonal expansion of infected B-lymphocytes are detected, then pharmacological measures can be developed and instituted prior to onset of overt clinical disease. More importantly, we will begin to understand the basic mechanisms involved in stress-induced reactivation of EBV in circulating B-lymphocytes.
Stowe, Raymond P. (Texas, Univ., Galveston United States)
Barrett, Alan D. T. (Texas, Univ., Galveston)
Pierson, Duane L. (NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX United States)