Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) DNA sequences were detected in four established monoblast or early monocytic cell lines (CM-S, ROV-S, CV-S and AD-S) obtained from bone marrow of children suffering from maturation defects of haematopoiesis. EBV is present in these cells in a latent state. The viral DNA in these cell lines was analysed by Southern blot hybridization, using a set of cloned EBV DNA fragments from the EBV strain B95-8 as probes. A common spectrum of highly related but distinguishable EBV DNA restriction enzyme sequences was found, suggesting some genomic diversity. Propagation of the cells in long-term culture revealed a gradual decrease of EBV copies per cell in all lines with some minor changes in the restriction pattern of the EBV DNA. These findings demonstrate that human precursor monocyte cells may be susceptible to infection by EBV.


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