The Serological Examination of Immunoglobulin A Anti-Early Antigen of Epstein–Barr Virus (Anti-EA EBV IgA) in the Nias Tribe Nasopharyngeal Cancer Patients


  • Hana Isal Salina Ginting Master Program in Tropical Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Universitas Sumatera Utara, Medan, Indonesia
  • Farhat Farhat Department of Otorhinolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, Universitas Sumatera Utara, Medan, Indonesia
  • Mutiara Indah Sari Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, Universitas Sumatera Utara, Medan, Indonesia



Early antigen, Epstein–Barr virus, Immunoglobulin A, Nasopharyngeal cancer, Serology


BACKGROUND: Nasopharyngeal cancer (NPC) is a health problem associated with malignancies of the ear, nose, and throat. The main pathogenesis of NPC is Epstein–Barr virus (EBV) infection. The signs and symptoms of NPC are non-specific, causing the occurrence of delay in diagnosis leading to treatment failure. The early detection based on the NPC profile using immunoglobulin A (IgA) antibodies against the early antigen (EA) can be done, but many factors affect anti-EA EBV IgA levels, one of which is ethnicity.

AIM: This study aimed to compare levels of anti-EA EBV IgA in NPC patients and non-NPC in the Nias tribe.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: This study was cross-sectional involving 29 NPC patients and 29 non-NPC in the Nias tribe. The subjects of the study were blood tests to measure the levels of anti-EA EBV IgA by a serological test. Data were analyzed by Chi-square test.

RESULTS: The results showed that the mean value of anti-EA EBV IgA levels is 246.22 ± 320.05 U/mL and the proportion of positive serology tests is 55.2% in NPC patients. The mean value of anti-EA EBV IgA levels is 51.79 ± 1.55 U/mL and the proportion of positive serology tests is 10.3% in non-NPC. The comparison of mean anti-EA EBV IgA between NPC patients and non-NPC was significant (p < 0.001). The comparison of positive and negative serology tests of anti-EA EBV IgA between NPC patients and non-NPC was significant (p < 0.05).

CONCLUSION: The serology tests of anti-EA EBV IgA play a role in differentiating NPC patients from non-NPC, so it can be useful as a screening tool for NPC in the Nias tribe.


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How to Cite

Ginting HIS, Farhat F, Sari MI. The Serological Examination of Immunoglobulin A Anti-Early Antigen of Epstein–Barr Virus (Anti-EA EBV IgA) in the Nias Tribe Nasopharyngeal Cancer Patients. Open Access Maced J Med Sci [Internet]. 2022 Jul. 28 [cited 2023 Mar. 28];10(A):1116-20. Available from:

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