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Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection (Glandular Fever)

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What is Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection (Glandular Fever)

Epstein-Barr virus is a viral infection causing fevers, sore throat, and swollen lymph glands, especially in the neck.

Statistics on Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection (Glandular Fever)

The disease occurs worldwide in adolescents and young adults. EBV more frequently is acquired in childhood in underdeveloped nations, and therefore the syndrome of acute infectious mononucleosis is unusual in these nations.

No sex nor racial prederiliction exists.

Progression of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection (Glandular Fever)

The disease is transmitted in saliva (also called the kissing disease) and by aerosol. Some young adults may remain debilitated and depressed for some months after infection. However, reactivation of latent virus is only thought to occur in immunocompromised patients such as AIDS patients. EBV is the cause of oral hairy leucoplakia, Burkitt’s lymphoma, nasopharyngeal carcinoma, post-transplant lymphoma and immunoblastic lymphoma in AIDS patients.

How is Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection (Glandular Fever) Diagnosed?

 

  • A monospot test (positive for infectious mononucleosis).
  • Epstein-Barr virus antigen by immunofluorescence (positive for EBV).

 

Prognosis of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection (Glandular Fever)

The disease is transmitted in saliva (also called the kissing disease) and by aerosol. Some young adults may remain debilitated and depressed for some months after infection. However, reactivation of latent virus is only thought to occur in immunocompromised patients such as AIDS patients. EBV is the cause of oral hairy leucoplakia, Burkitt’s lymphoma, nasopharyngeal carcinoma, post-transplant lymphoma and immunoblastic lymphoma in AIDS patients.

How is Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection (Glandular Fever) Treated?

The majority of cases don’t require a specific treatment and recovery is rapid.

If there is neurological involvement (e.g. encephalitis, meningitis or Guillain-Barre syndrome), marked thrombocytopenia or haemolysis, corticosteroid therapy is advised.

Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection (Glandular Fever) References

[1] Copperman SM: “Alice in Wonderland” syndrome as a presenting symptom of infectious mononucleosis in children: a description of three affected young people. Clin Pediatr (Phila) 1977 Feb; 16(2): 143-6 [Medline].
[2] eMEDICINE.
[3] Kumar P, Clark M. Clinical Medicine. Fourth Ed. WB Saunders, 2002.
[4] MEDLINE Plus.

Dates

Posted On: 16 July, 2003
Modified On: 24 January, 2014


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