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Test Details
Test Code:PL0126
Test Name:Anti Epstein Barr Virus To Viral Cap
Test Details & Preparation
Tests for Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) antibodies are used to help diagnose infectious mononucleosis (mono) if a person is symptomatic but has a negative mono test.

In pregnant women with symptoms of a viral illness, one or more EBV antibody tests may be ordered along with tests for CMV, toxoplasmosis, and other infections (sometimes as part of a TORCH screen) to help distinguish between EBV and conditions that may cause similar symptoms.

These tests may be ordered on an asymptomatic person to see if they have been previously exposed to EBV or are susceptible to a primary EBV infection. This is not routinely done, but it may be ordered when someone, such as an adolescent or an immune compromised person, has been in close contact with a person who has mono. These tests include viral capsid antigen (VCA)-IgM, VCA- IgG, D early antigen (EA-D) and Epstein Barr nuclear antigen (EBNA).

EBV antibodies may be ordered when someone has symptoms suggesting mono but a negative mono test and when a pregnant woman has flu-like symptoms and the doctor wants to determine whether the symptoms are due to EBV or another microorganism. Some symptoms associated with mono include fatigue, fever, sore throat, swollen nymph nodes or sometimes enlarged spleen or liver.

Testing may be ordered when a doctor wants to establish previous exposure to EBV. Testing may occasionally be repeated when the doctor wants to track antibody concentrations (titers) or when the first test was negative but the doctor still suspects that the person's symptoms are due to EBV.

If someone is positive for VCA-IgM antibodies, then it is likely that he has an EBV infection, and it may be early in the course of the illness. If the person also has symptoms associated with mono, then it is most likely that he will be diagnosed with mono, even if the mono test was negative. If a person has positive VCA-IgG and EA-D IgG tests, then it is highly likely that he has a current or recent EBV infection.

If the VCA-IgM is negative but VCA-IgG and an EBNA antibody are positive, then it is likely that the person tested had a previous EBV infection. If an individual is asymptomatic and negative for VCA-IgG, then that person has likely not been previously exposed to EBV and is vulnerable to infection. Generally, rising VCA-IgG levels tend to indicate an active EBV infection, while falling concentrations tend to indicate a recent EBV infection that is resolving.
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