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Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is a gammaherpesvirus that causes a number of clinical syndromes, including acute mononucleosis.Acute infection with EBV can vary widely with regard to the severity and presentation of illness, ranging from an asymptomatic infection to a serious, life-threatening version of mononucleosis with associated liver damage and splenomegaly. Additionally, other acute viral syndromes, including those caused by hepatitis viruses and cytomegalovirus (CMV), can lead to similar clinical syndromes. The variety of symptoms and the overlap with other viral infections underscore the importance of laboratory testing in the diagnosis of acute EBV-related disease.The purpose of this study was to evaluate the utility of an agglutination test for the detection of heterophile antibodies (Monotest) and two EBV-specific rapid immunochromatographic tests (VCA-IgM and VCA-IgG/EBNA-IgG). Heterophile antibody determination is resulted to have not a real diagnostic utility for the low sensibility and specificity of the test. In our experience the only use of VCA-IgG/EBNA-IgG test is sufficient to discriminate between an acute mononucleosis and a past infection.
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