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Artificial reproduction of atypical hydroa vacciniforme caused by latent Epstein–Barr virus infection


Correspondence Tae Heung Kim, MD Department of Dermatology College of Medicine Gyeongsang National University 90 Chilam-Dong Chinju, Kyungnam 660-702 Korea E-mail:


Background Cases of hydroa vacciniforme-like eruptions caused by latent Epstein–Barr virus (EBV) infection have been reported in Asia and Mexico, some of which progressed to lymphoproliferative disorders. The precise clinical features of the disease are not, however, clear.

Methods We performed an artificial provocation test with repeated exposures of ultraviolet A (UVA) and UVB in an 8-year-old Korean girl who had severe hydroa vacciniforme-like skin eruptions on exposed areas.

Results The patient showed features of latent EBV infection serologically, and an in situ hybridization study indicated that most infiltrating mononuclear cells in the dermis were positive for EBV. After three exposures to UVA irradiation with a total dose of 90 J/cm2, erythema and vesicles appeared on the UVA-irradiated site but not on the UVB-irradiated site.

Conclusions Atypical hydroa vacciniforme caused by latent EBV infection could be reproduced by repeated UVA irradiation. Further study on the photo-protection would be necessary to prevent its progression to lymphoproliferative malignancies.