As we were characterizing the relationship between EBV and P. falciparum in Burkitt lymphoma (BL) pathogenesis, we found that the majority of newly isolated BL-derived EBV strains spontaneously undergo lytic reactivation from latency. This was true in BL cell lines as well as de novo infection indicating that this phenotype is virally encoded. Moreover, we find that the virus producing cells can be sorted and return to latency within a few days in culture, recapitulating the bulk population steady-state level of virus reactivation. We are characterizing the biochemical basis for the process of return to latency from productive infection as well as the underlying genetic basis for the spontaneous lytic phenotype in these new strains. This work is supported by a renewed cycle of an R01 from NIDCR.