Sign in →

Test ID: SEBV Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) Antibody Profile, Serum

Reporting Name

EBV Ab Profile, S

Useful For

Diagnosing infectious mononucleosis when a mononucleosis screening procedure is negative and infectious mononucleosis or a complication of Epstein-Barr virus infection is suspected

Clinical Information

Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), a member of the herpesvirus group, is the etiologic agent of infectious mononucleosis. EBV infections are difficult to diagnose in the laboratory since the virus does not grow in standard cell cultures. The majority of infections can be recognized, however, by testing the patient's serum for heterophile antibodies (rapid latex slide agglutination test; eg, MONOS / Infectious Mononucleosis, Rapid Test, Serum), which usually appear within the first 3 weeks of illness, but then decline rapidly within a few weeks. The heterophile antibody, however, fails to develop in about 10% of adults, more frequently in children, and almost uniformly in infants with primary EBV infections. Most of these heterophile antibody-negative cases of infectious mononucleosis-like infections are due to cytomegalovirus, but in a series of 43 cases, EBV was the cause in 7. In cases where EBV is suspected, but the heterophile antibody is not detected, an evaluation of the EBV-specific antibody profile (eg, EBV viral capsid antigen: VCA IgM, EBV VCA IgG, and EBV nuclear antigen: EBNA) may be useful.

 

Infection with EBV usually occurs early in life. For several weeks to months after acute onset of the infection, it is spread by upper respiratory secretions that contain the virus. Among the clinical disorders due to EBV infection, infectious mononucleosis is the most common. Other disorders due to EBV infection have been recognized for several years, including African-type Burkitt lymphoma and nasopharyngeal carcinoma. EBV infection may also cause lymphoproliferative syndromes, especially in patients who have undergone renal or bone marrow transplantation and in those who have AIDS.

Interpretation

The test has 3 components: viral capsid antigen (VCA) IgG, VCA IgM, and Epstein-Barr nuclear antigen (EBNA). Presence of VCA IgM antibodies indicates recent primary infection with Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). The presence of VCA IgG antibodies indicates infection sometime in the past. Antibodies to EBNA develop 6 to 8 weeks after primary infection and are detectable for life. Over 90% of the normal adult population has IgG class antibodies to VCA and EBNA. Few patients who have been infected with EBV will fail to develop antibodies to the EBNA (approximately 5%-10%).

 

Possible Results

VCA IgG

VCA IgM

EBNA IgG

Interpretation

-

-

-

No previous exposure

+

+

-

Recent infection

+

-

+

Past infection

+

-

-

See note*

+

+

+

Past infection

*Results indicate infection with EBV at some time (VCA IgG positive). However, the time of the infection cannot be predicted (ie, recent or past) since antibodies to EBNA usually develop after primary infection (recent) or, alternatively, approximately 5% to 10% of patients with EBV never develop antibodies to EBNA (past).

Profile Information

Test ID Reporting Name Available Separately Always Performed
EBVM EBV VCA IgM Ab, S No Yes
EBVG EBV VCA IgG Ab, S No Yes
EBVNA EBNA Ab, S No Yes

Analytic Time

Same day/1 day

Day(s) and Time(s) Performed

Monday through Friday; Continuous 9 a.m.-6 p.m.

Sunday; 6 a.m.

Clinical Reference

1. Fields' Virology. Fifth edition. Edited by DM Knipe, PM Howley, DE Griffin, et al. Philadelphia, Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, 2007

2. Linde A, Falk KI: Epstein-Barr virus. In Manual of Clinical Microbiology. Ninth edition. Edited by EJ Barron, JH Jorgensen, ML Landry, et al. ASM Press, 2007, pp 1564-1573

Method Name

Multiplex Flow Immunoassay

Specimen Type

Serum


Specimen Required


Container/Tube:

Preferred: Serum gel

Acceptable: Red top

Specimen Volume: 1 mL


Specimen Minimum Volume

0.6 mL

Specimen Stability Information

Specimen Type Temperature Time Special Container
Serum Refrigerated (preferred) 14 days
  Frozen  14 days

Reference Values

Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) VIRAL CAPSID ANTIGEN (VCA) IgM ANTIBODY

Negative

 

Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) VIRAL CAPSID ANTIGEN (VCA) IgG ANTIBODY

Negative

 

EPSTEIN-BARR NUCLEAR ANTIGEN (EBNA) ANTIBODIES

Negative

CPT Code Information

86664-EBNA

86665 x 2-VCA, IgG and IgM

LOINC Code Information

Test ID Test Order Name Order LOINC Value
SEBV EBV Ab Profile, S 87554-2

 

Result ID Test Result Name Result LOINC Value
EBVG EBV VCA IgG Ab, S 30339-6
EBVM EBV VCA IgM Ab, S 30340-4
EBNA EBNA Ab, S 22296-8
INT73 Interpretation 69048-7

Forms

If not ordering electronically, complete, print, and send 1 of the following forms with the specimen:

-General Request (T239)

-Microbiology Test Request (T244)

Mayo Clinic Laboratories | Neurology Catalog Additional Information:

mml-CNS-Infections, mml-Pediatric, mml-Spinal-Cord