Epstein-Barr Virus (Mono); Symptoms, Diagnosis & Treatment

Diagnosis and tests

Epstein Barr virus, Diagnosis and tests
Diagnosis and tests

In the diagnosis of mononucleosis, it is always helpful to confirm that it is caused by the Epstein Barr virus. Around 10% of cases linked to mononucleosis are caused by Cytomegalovirus, Toxoplasma infections, or viral hepatitis. The signs and symptoms will give a very accurate approach of which one is it. For example, fatigue is much more intense in Epstein Barr infections than in any other. Toxoplasmosis patients do not experience malaise and may not experience fatigue at all. A sore throat is sometimes absent in viral hepatitis and toxoplasmosis. Skin rashes only appear in EBV infections.

Laboratory studies used to diagnose and follow-up Epstein Barr infections include:

  • Heterophile antibodies and EBV-specific antibodies confirm the presence of Epstein Barr in the organism. Note that they will be positive only when the organism has developed a humoral immune response against the virus.
  • Additional laboratory analyses include complete blood cell count, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, and group A streptococci co-testing.

Additionally, patients with this infection may require a CT scan or MRI along with an EEG if they develop central nervous system symptoms. They help diagnose encephalitis.

Written by Greg M. Wilcox

With a background in medical research, I'm dedicated to unraveling the complexities of health and nutrition in a way that's easy to understand and implement. From debunking myths to sharing science-backed insights, my goal is to guide you on a journey towards optimal well-being.