Burkitt lymphoma (BL) is an aggressive non‐Hodgkin lymphoma. The prevalence of BL is ten‐fold higher in areas with stable transmission of Plasmodium falciparum malaria, where it is the most common childhood cancer, and is referred to as endemic BL (eBL). In addition to its association with exposure to P. falciparum infection, eBL is strongly associated with Epstein–Barr virus (EBV) infection (>90%).
Endemic Burkitt lymphoma (eBL) is an aggressive childhood B‐cell lymphoma associated with Plasmodium falciparum (Pf) malaria and Epstein–Barr virus (EBV) infections. Variation in the Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) system is suspected to play a role, but assessments using less accurate serology‐based HLA typing techniques in small studies yielded conflicting results. We studied 200 eBL cases and 400 controls aged 0–15 years enrolled in northern Uganda and typed by accurate high‐resolution HLA sequencing methods.
Endemic Burkitt lymphoma (eBL) is the most common childhood cancer in sub‐Saharan African countries, however, few epidemiologic studies have been undertaken and none attempted enrolling cases from multiple countries. We therefore conducted a population‐based case–control study of eBL in children aged 0–15 years old in six regions in Northern Uganda, Northern Tanzania and Western Kenya, enrolling 862 suspected cases and 2,934 population controls (response rates 98.5–100%), and processing ~40,000 vials of samples using standardized protocols.