Epstein-Barr Virus Infection was first discovered by a German physician “ Pfeiffer”. Since the 1800s, infectious mononucleosis has been recognized as a clinical syndrome consisting of fever, pharyngitis, and adenopathy. EBV is transmitted via intimate contact with body secretions, primarily oropharyngeal secretions. EBV infects the B cells in the oropharyngeal epithelium. The organism may also be shed from the uterine cervix, implicating the role of genital transmission in some cases. On rare occasion, EBV is spread via blood transfusion. The immune response to EBV infection is fever, which occurs because of cytokine release consequent to B-lymphocyte invasion by EBV. Lymphocytosis observed in the RES is caused by a proliferation of EBV-infected B lymphocytes. Pharyngitis observed in EBV infectious mononucleosis is caused by the proliferation of EBV-infected B lymphocytes in the lymphatic tissue of the oropharynx.
Infection with Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is common and usually occurs in childhood or early adulthood. EBV is the cause of infectious mononucleosis (also termed "mono"), an illness associated with fever, sore throat, swollen lymph nodes in the neck, and sometimes an enlarged spleen.
Laboratory testing can help distinguish whether someone is susceptible to EBV infection or has a recent or past infection. Healthcare providers can test for antibodies to the following EBV-associated antigens:
• Viral capsid antigen (VCA): Anti-VCA IgM appears early in EBV infection and usually disappears within 4 to 6 weeks.
• Early antigen (EA):Anti-EA IgG appears in the acute phase of illness and generally falls to undetectable levels after 3 to 6 months.
The Monospot test is not recommended for general use. The antibodies detected by Monospot can be caused by conditions other than infectious mononucleosis. Steroids are indicated for impending or established airway obstruction in individuals with Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infectious mononucleosis. Surgery is necessary for spontaneous splenic rupture, which occurs in rare patients with EBV infectious mononucleosis and may be the initial manifestation of the condition. EBV infectious mononucleosis is a common cause of viral pharyngitis in patients of all ages, but it is particularly frequent in young adults. In Ireland , approximately 50% of the population seroconverts before age 5 years, with much of the rest seroconverting in adolescence or young adulthood. Approximately 12% of susceptible college-aged young adults convert each year, half of whom develop acute infectious mononucleosis.