Complement-fixing antibody to epstein-barr virus soluble antigen in populations at high and low risk for nasopharyngeal carcinoma



Greenland Eskimos comprise an ethnic group with one of the highest recorded incidence rates for nasopharyngeal carcinoma in the world. Sera from 625 Eskimos and 73 Danes (Caucasians) living in Greenland, as well as from 62 Danes living in Denmark, were tested for complement-fixing antibody to Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) soluble antigen and, from this study group, 129 donors were matched by age and sex for a study comparing antibody to viral capsid antigen, early antigen, and soluble antigen. Both Eskimos and Danes living in Greenland had significantly higher titers of EBV antibodies than Danes living in Denmark, suggesting that environment was more important than genetics or socio-economic factors in determining the antibody response to EBV. Age and sex were also factors, higher titers occurring in females and young Eskimos.