It is well known that the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is a widespread infection in the human population. Typically, infection occurs in early childhood without serious consequences for infected people. At the same time, a secondary infection with an additional EBV strain occurs quite often. During the in vitro cultivation of peripheral blood lymphocytes from persons infected with multiple strains of the virus, only one of these strains with higher transforming potential becomes dominant, while the others are eliminated. Under certain conditions, such a highly transforming EBV strain apparently is able to be the etiologic agent of EBVassociated diseases. To find out the range of highly transforming EBV strains prevalent among Russians, cell lines from patients with EBV-associated and non-associated tumors, as well as healthy individuals, were established. The structural analysis of the latent membrane protein 1 gene (LMP1), a key oncogene of the virus, isolated from established cell lines and peripheral blood lymphocytes of blood donors was carried out, and data obtained were compared with the respective data for LMP1 isolates, amplified from cell lines established from African and Japanese patients with Burkitt's lymphoma. The data obtained show a genetic relationship between Russian LMP1 isolates regardless the fact whether they come from patients with tumors or healthy individuals and differ significantly from LMP1 isolates from Burkitt's lymphoma patients. Thus, the results of the study suggest that in nonendemic region for EBV-associated pathology, Russia, any strain of EBV with any structure of LMP1 with concomitant effect of additional factors may become an etiologic agent for EBV-associated neoplasia.