Causes

The cause of Hodgkin's disease is unknown. Many researchers have suspected an infectious component. Some of the early symptoms include fever, chills, and leukocytosis, as if a viral infection were present. Gene fragments similar to those of a murine leukemia virus have been found in Hodgkin's tissue. In particular, higher than usual Epstein-Barr antibodies have been found in many Hodgkin's patients, and a small increase in Hodgkin's incidence has been found in people who have had the Epstein-Barr-induced disease, infectious mononucleosis. Some people who have reduced immune systems, such as those with AIDS and organ transplant patients, are also at a higher risk for Hodgkin's disease.

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