Forty-two cases of Hodgkin's disease (HD) and 22 cases of Ki-1-positive anaplastic large cell (Ki-1 + ALC) lymphoma were examined by Southern blotting for the presence of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) DNA. Seven cases of HD and one case of Ki-1 + ALC lymphoma scored positive with a probe specific for the internal repetitive region of the EBV genome. Subsequently, these viral genomes could be demonstrated to be monoclonal in origin using an EBV terminal region DNA probe. In situ hybridization revealed that in two HD cases, the EBV infected cells had the distinct morphology of Hodgkin and Reed-Sternberg cells, thus suggesting a direct pathoetiological relationship between EBV and some cases of HD.

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