Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Environmental Science

First Advisor

Dr. Mouied AI-Ashari

Second Advisor

Dr. Suhail Abdullah AI-Salam

Third Advisor

Dr. Ahmad Hasan Sultan


Although Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is often found in human tonsils and adenoids, it remains to be precisely determined in what cells and microenvironment the virus is present. Although generally regarded as a B lymphotropic virus, EBV can infect non B-cells. The aim of this project is to determine the prevalence of EBV in the tonsils and adenoids of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Nationals and to provide a basis for understanding the origin and biology of EBV -infected B and non-B cells, the immunophenotype of all EBV -infected cells in reactive tonsils was determined by subjecting tonsil and adenoid sections of 46 cases (92 specimens) to EBER in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry with monoclonal antibodies to T –cells (CD3), B-cells (CD20) and epithelial cells (cytokeratin), as well as immunostaining with antibodies to EBV latent proteins LMP-1. EBV is found in 43% of tonsillectomy specimens and 15% of adenoidectomy specimens. Nearly all EBV -infected cells are found to be B lymphocytes. About 90% of the EBV -infected cells are found in the interfollicular regions of tonsils and adenoids and the remaining 1 0% are found within the follicles. There is no significant association between EBV infection and age (P= 0.324) and gender (P= 0.442). In conclusion EBV is associated with tonsillar hypertrophy and is prevalent in 43% of our cases. In situ hybridization is the gold standard method for the detection of EBV in tissue.