Papers And Originals

Serological Studies in Infectious Mononucleosis

Br Med J 1969; 3 doi: (Published 23 August 1969) Cite this as: Br Med J 1969;3:444
  1. J. E. Banatvala,
  2. Sally G. Grylls


    Serological investigations performed on 27 patients with illnesses resembling infectious mononucleosis showed a significant increase in high antibody titres (more than 1:40) to EB virus in 11 of the 12 who developed heterophile antibodies. Two of these patients, however, had a significant increase in antibody titre to cytomegalovirus and rubella virus, respectively. Of 15 patients who failed to develop heterophile antibodies, one had a high antibody titre to EB virus, the others generally having undetectable or low antibody titres. The insidious onset of the illness in many patients together with the fact that EB virus antibodies rose to high titres rapidly reduced the value of this investigation diagnostically.

    EB virus antibody was still present in the sera of five patients who had had well-authenticated heterophile-antibody-positive infectious mononucleosis some four to seven years previously. Twenty-seven out of 70 (39%) healthy nurses had antibody at a level of more than 1:10 to EB virus. The presence of EB virus antibody in different population groups appears to be related to such factors as age and socioeconomic status.