Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is the etiologic agent of infectious mononucleosis (IM) and is implicated in Burkitrs lymphoma (BL), nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) and X-linked lympho -proliferative syndrome (XLP).
EBV is one of the herpesvirus pathogens in human. The major route of transmission of EBV is through oral contact. During childhood, primary infection with EBV is often asymptomatic. Acquisition of the virus during adolescence through adulthood results in infectious mononucleosis in the majority of persons. EBV infects B cells of the immune system and epithelial cells. Once the virus’s initial lytic infection is brought under control, EBV latently persists in the individual’s B cells for the rest of the individual’s life.
Diagnosis of infectious mononucleosis is based upon clinical manifestations in conjunction with hematological evidence for lymphocytosis and serological evidence for the presence of heterophile antibody and/or antibodies to EBV specific proteins. Clinical manifestations similar to infectious mononucleosis can also be induced by a number of other pathogenic infectious agents including cytomegalovirus, Toxoplasma gondii, hepatitis viruses, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and others.