Papers And Originals

IgM Antibodies Specific for Epstein-Barr Virus in Infectious Mononucleosis without Heterophil Antibodies

Br Med J 1974; 4 doi: (Published 12 October 1974) Cite this as: Br Med J 1974;4:72
  1. J. Nikoskelainen,
  2. J. Leikola,
  3. E. Klemola


    IgM antibodies specific for Epstein-Barr (E.B.) virus were demonstrable in all but one out of 46 patients diagnosed as having infectious mononucleosis wihout heterophil antibodies; cytomegalovirus aetiology was excluded. In all but two cases the highest titre was found in the first sample. In 21 patients a significant decrease was seen within a few weeks. IgG antibodies to E.B. virus, mostly remaining at a constant level, were demonstrable in all cases. IgM antibodies to E.B. virus were found in only five out of 300 controls.

    The results suggest that in a disease similar to infectious mononucleosis without heterophil antibodies testing of transient E.B. virus-specific IgM antibodies makes a rapid aetiological diagnosis possible and that in clinically well-defined cases viruses other than E.B. virus and cytomegalovirus are unlikely to be causal agents.