Epstein-Barr virus infection status among first year undergraduate university students

Allen Choi, Kathryn Marcus, Danielle Pohl, Patrick Ten Eyck, Henry Balfour, J. Brooks Jackson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Objective: Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is the cause of infectious mononucleosis, which disproportionately affects university students. This population has the potential to benefit from a prophylactic EBV vaccine trial. Our objectives were to determine EBV infection status and associated demographic/lifestyle factors among first year undergraduate university students at the beginning and end of first year. Methods: EBV infection status was assessed by testing for circulating IgG class antibodies against EBV viral capsid antigen. Results: Of 198 starting students; 56.1% were positive for EBV antibodies with a higher rate in women (64.8%) than male (41.1%); p = 0.002. A history of deep kissing was associated with a higher rate of EBV antibody positivity. On follow-up 8 months later at the end of freshman year, 22.4% had acquired EBV antibodies for a primary infection incidence of 33.6/100 person years. Conclusion: These findings indicate that our first year undergraduate population contains sufficient EBV-naïve subjects for a prophylactic vaccine trial.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)22-25
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of American College Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.


  • EBV antibody
  • EBV seroprevalence
  • Epstein-Barr virus
  • immunity
  • university first year students


Dive into the research topics of 'Epstein-Barr virus infection status among first year undergraduate university students'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this