Prospective studies of antibodies to multiple Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) proteins and EBV neutralizing antibodies in the same individuals before, during, and after primary EBV infection have not been reported. We studied antibody responses to EBV in college students who acquired primary EBV infection during prospective surveillance and correlated the kinetics of antibody response with the severity of disease. Neutralizing antibodies and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) antibodies to gp350, the major target of neutralizing antibody, reached peak levels at medians of 179 and 333 days after the onset of symptoms of infectious mononucleosis, respectively. No clear correlation was found between the severity of the symptoms of infectious mononucleosis and the peak levels of antibody to individual viral proteins or to neutralizing antibody. In summary, we found that titers of neutralizing antibody and antibodies to multiple EBV proteins increase over many months after primary infection with EBV.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
University of Minnesota Foundation provided funding to David Schmeling and Henry Balfour Jr. University of Minnesota International Center for Antiviral Research and Epidemiology provided funding to David Schmeling and Henry Balfour Jr. Division of Intramural Research, National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research provided funding to Peter Burbelo. Division of Intramural Research, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (DIR, NIAID) provided funding to Wei Bu and Jeffrey I Cohen.