, Volume 11, Issue 6, pp 449-456
Date: 06 Nov 2009

Genitourinary manifestations of Epstein-Barr virus infections

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Abstract

Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is best known as the organism responsible for the syndrome of acute infectious mononucleosis. Transmission of EBV most commonly occurs through oral secretions. EBV has also been isolated from the female genital tract, where its role is poorly understood. This article reviews the available literature and data regarding EBV in the female genital tract and discusses areas of consensus and controversy. The primary manifestation of EBV seems to be vulvar ulcers, which are underrecognized. Diagnosis relies on appropriate serologic testing. Management includes local care and may require pain and corticosteroid medications. Although EBV is present elsewhere in the female genital tract, its pathogenic role in the cervix, uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries is poorly understood.