Primary Epstein-Barr virus infection

Samantha K. Dunmire, Priya S. Verghese, Henry H. Balfour

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infects about 90% of adults worldwide. It is the main cause of infectious mononucleosis, which is observed most frequently in adolescents. The disease can last several weeks and is characterized by lymphocytosis, sore throat, lymphadenopathy, and fatigue. Exposure to oral secretions during deep kissing has been identified as the major source for primary EBV infection in adolescents. Oral secretions are also thought to be the source for younger children through intimate intact or sharing food and eating utensils, although this has not been confirmed. Unlike most acute viral illnesses such as influenza, the incubation period of symptomatic primary EBV infection is unusually long, lasting about six weeks. Diagnosis is typically made by heterophile antibody tests and/or EBV-specific antibody tests. Long-term consequences may result from acquisition of the virus, including nasopharyngeal carcinoma and lymphomas. Nevertheless, there remains a surprising dearth of knowledge regarding the establishment of an immune response to persistent EBV infection, especially during the incubation period. This lack of knowledge has impaired our ability to develop an effective prophylactic EBV vaccine, despite various attempts. Our greatest challenges in EBV research are to develop a prophylactic vaccine and devise treatment strategies for persons already infected with EBV.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)84-92
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Clinical Virology
Volume102
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2018

Fingerprint

Epstein-Barr Virus Infections
Human Herpesvirus 4
Cooking and Eating Utensils
Vaccines
Heterophile Antibodies
Lymphocytosis
Infectious Mononucleosis
Pharyngitis
Human Influenza
Fatigue
Lymphoma
Viruses
Food
Antibodies
Research

Keywords

  • Epstein-Barr virus
  • Immune responses
  • Infectious mononucleosis
  • Mono
  • Primary infection
  • Vaccine

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

Cite this

Primary Epstein-Barr virus infection. / Dunmire, Samantha K.; Verghese, Priya S.; Balfour, Henry H.

In: Journal of Clinical Virology, Vol. 102, 01.05.2018, p. 84-92.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Dunmire, Samantha K. ; Verghese, Priya S. ; Balfour, Henry H. / Primary Epstein-Barr virus infection. In: Journal of Clinical Virology. 2018 ; Vol. 102. pp. 84-92.
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