EBV-induced lymphoproliferative disease (EBV-LPD) is a serious and potentially fatal complication following stem cell transplantation. Strategies have been developed for the cultivation of donor-derived, EBV-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) for stem cell transplant (SCT) patients affected with these disorders, using donor-derived, EBV-transformed B lymphoblastoid cell lines (BLCL) as stimulators. Although cultivation of EBV-transformed BLCL is possible without using an exogenous source of EBV, transformation of autologous B cells with endogenous virus may be slow and inconsistent. Therefore, if exogenous strains of EBV are used to generate BLCL, it may be beneficial to patients to ensure that these cell lines are not producing virus that potentially could be conveyed at the time of CTL infusion. A reliable method of screening for EBV using a cord blood transformation assay has been developed and is described.
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