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Epstein–Barr Virus (EBV) DNA as a Potential Marker of in vivo Immunity in Professional Footballers

Perkins, Eleanor, Davison, Glen (2021) Epstein–Barr Virus (EBV) DNA as a Potential Marker of in vivo Immunity in Professional Footballers. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, . ISSN 0270-1367. (doi:10.1080/02701367.2021.1932707) (KAR id:95026)

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DOI for this version: 10.1080/02701367.2021.1932707

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Introduction: Team sport athletes have increased susceptibility to upper respiratory symptoms (URS) during periods of intensified training and competition. Reactivation of Epstein–Barr Virus (EBV) may be a novel marker for risk of upper respiratory illness (URI) in professional athletes. Aims: To investigate changes in salivary EBV DNA (in addition to the well-established marker, salivary secretory immunoglobulin A), and incidence of URS in professional footballers. Methods: Over a 16-week period (August to November 2016), 15 male players from a professional English football League 1 club provided weekly unstimulated saliva samples (after a rest day) and recorded URS. Saliva samples were analyzed for secretory IgA (ELISA) and EBV DNA (qPCR). Results: Whole squad median (interquartile range) saliva IgA concentration and secretion rate significantly decreased (p < .05) between weeks 8 and 12 (concentration, 107 (76–150) mg/L healthy baseline to 51 (31–80) mg/L at week 12; secretion rate 51 (30–78) µg/min healthy baseline to 22 (18–43) µg/min at week 12). Two players reported URS episodes during week 10, both after IgA secretion rate decreased below 40% of the individual’s healthy baseline. EBV DNA was detected in the weeks before URS but also at other times and in healthy players (overall frequency 40%, range 11–78%) and frequency was similar between the URS and healthy group. Conclusion: These findings confirm salivary IgA as a useful marker of URS risk but EBV DNA was not. Further research capturing a greater number of URS episodes is required, however, to fully determine the utility of this marker.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1080/02701367.2021.1932707
Uncontrolled keywords: Illness, soccer, training, athlete, immune, competition, mucosal immunity, in vivo
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation. Leisure > Sports sciences
Q Science > QP Physiology (Living systems)
Q Science > QP Physiology (Living systems) > QP506 Molecular biology
Q Science > QR Microbiology > QR180 Immunology
Q Science > QR Microbiology > QR355 Virology
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC1200 Sports medicine
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC1235 Physiology of sports
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Natural Sciences > Sport and Exercise Sciences
Depositing User: Glen Davison
Date Deposited: 14 May 2022 10:05 UTC
Last Modified: 16 May 2022 09:07 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Davison, Glen:
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