EPSTEIN BARR VIRUS (EBV) is a member of the herpes virus family and is the causative agent of infectious mononucleosis.
Typical serological assays measure IgG and IgM antibodies directed against different components of EBV. Viral Capsid (VCA) is used to detect antibodies generally produced during the acute phase of the infection whereas the EBNA-1 protein is used to detect IgG produced during convalescence. IgG to the early antigen D (EA-D) appears in the acute phase and generally falls to undetectable levels after 3 to 6 months. In many people, detection of antibody to the early antigen is a sign of active infection, but in 20-30% of healthy individuals IgG to EA-D remain detectable for life. EA rises again if reactivation of infection occurs. It has also been demonstrated that IgM antibodies to VCA components of EBV tend to persist for several months after the infection in 5 to 10% of the cases.
It is therefore important to provide the clinician a way to better define the stage of the infection. Parallel determination of VCA IgG, EBNA IgG and EBV IgM levels enables, through the use of a differential cutoff for the interpretation of EBNA IgG and EBV IgM results, better discrimination among different phases of EBV infection.
DiaSorin offers a complete EBV panel line on the LIAISON® systems.