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Epidemiology of Burkitt Lymphoma in East African Children and Minors (EMBLEM)

The Epidemiology of Burkitt Lymphoma in East-African Children and Minors (EMBLEM) study is a large, population-based study of Burkitt Lymphoma (BL) conducted in six rural areas in Uganda, Tanzania, and Kenya to investigate the role of P. falciparum, Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), and host genetic factors in childhood BL. The study enrolled 862 BL cases and 3,635 age-, sex- and area-frequency-matched population controls from the six regions. All participants provided blood and saliva specimens for research, and fresh-frozen tumor tissues were collected from  a small proportion. The primary research conducted in the EMBLEM includes: a) molecular characterization of BL  through the BL Tumor Genome Sequencing Project; b) spatial-temporal characterization of malaria and BL in East Africa; c) genome-wide and candidate gene studies to quantify associations between specific genes or biological pathways (e.g., malaria-resistance or immunity through HLA) and BL; d) biological studies to discover specific proteins or sequences of P. falciparum and EBV associated with BL.

The EMBLEM provides a unique resource to generate biological hypotheses and preliminary data, such as the potential to utilize metabolomics methods to study the biology of BL in Africa, or to use plasma-based methods to improve BL diagnosis in Africa.

For more information, contact Sam Mbulaiteye.

Infections and Immunoepidemiology Branch – Research Areas

EMBLEM study website