Dr. Ahmed Arif co-authors paper on the role of diet in contracting Epstein-Barr virus infection

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The Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), a member of the herpes virus family, is a common human virus that has been shown to be related to several medical conditions such as infectious mononucleosis, Burkitt’s lymphoma, Hodgkin lymphoma, and nasopharyngeal carcinoma; yet, there is limited information available on possible risk factors of EBV.

Hesam Naenifard, lead author on the paper, examined data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2009-2010 as part of his MSPH thesis, under the supervision of Dr. Arif, to explore possible link between dietary factors and EBV infection in children.

The study found that children and adolescents who consumed 100% fruit juice, beans, and red meat daily as well as those who did not get fed a balanced meal and had to rely on low cost food may be at an increased risk of contracting EBV infection.

The paper was published in the Journal of Primary Care & Community Health. Other co-authors on the paper were Dr. Larissa Huber and Dr. Jennifer Warner

The paper was recently featured on the UNC Charlotte website at http://publicrelations.charlotte.edu/news-events/news-releases/chhs-researchers-shed-light-link-between-diet-and-epstein-barr