SERUM antibodies to Epstein-Barr viral antigens were studied in 56 patients with treated coeliac disease and 53 healthy controls. Four individuals with a malignancy were among the group studied. Twenty-one patients (37.5%) showed unusual antibody response patterns which were broadly divisible into two groups: (1) those with elevated antiviral capsid antigen (VCA), antibodies associated with positive anti-early antigen (EA) responses, and (2) those with low anti-Epstein-Barr nuclear antigen (EBNA) responses. While the results indicate that some patients with coeliac disease have an immunological abnormality with respect to EBV, there is as yet no direct evidence that this results in malignancies.
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