Infectious Mononucleosis

  • Samantha K. DunmireEmail author
  • Kristin A. Hogquist
  • Henry H. Balfour
Part of the Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology book series (CT MICROBIOLOGY, volume 390)


Infectious mononucleosis is a clinical entity characterized by sore throat, cervical lymph node enlargement, fatigue, and fever most often seen in adolescents and young adults and lasting several weeks. It can be caused by a number of pathogens, but this chapter only discusses infectious mononucleosis due to primary Epstein–Barr virus (EBV) infection. EBV is a γ-herpesvirus that infects at least 90 % of the population worldwide. The virus is spread by intimate oral contact among teenagers and young adults. How preadolescents acquire the virus is not known. A typical clinical picture with a positive heterophile test is usually sufficient to make the diagnosis, but heterophile antibodies are not specific and do not develop in some patients. EBV-specific antibody profiles are the best choice for staging EBV infection. In addition to causing acute illness, there can also be long-term consequences as the result of acquisition of the virus. Several EBV-related illnesses occur including certain cancers and autoimmune diseases, as well as complications of primary immunodeficiency in persons with the certain genetic mutations. A major obstacle to understanding these sequelae has been the lack of an efficient animal model for EBV infection, although progress in primate and mouse models has recently been made. Key future challenges are to develop protective vaccines and effective treatment regimens.


Natural Killer Cell Human Leukocyte Antigen Infectious Mononucleosis Humanize Mouse Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Chronic active Epstein–Barr virus


Dendritic cells


Epstein–Barr nuclear antigen


Epstein–Barr virus


Endemic Burkitt’s lymphoma


Enzyme immunoassay


Hodgkin’s lymphoma


Human leukocyte antigen


Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis






Major histocompatibility complex


Multiple sclerosis


Natural killer


National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey


National Institutes of Health


Nasopharyngeal carcinoma


Signaling lymphocytic activation molecule-associated protein


Viral capsid antigen


X-linked lymphoproliferative disease


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Samantha K. Dunmire
    • 1
    Email author
  • Kristin A. Hogquist
    • 1
  • Henry H. Balfour
    • 2
  1. 1.Center for ImmunologyUniversity of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA
  2. 2.Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, Department of PediatricsUniversity of Minnesota, University of Minnesota Medical SchoolMinneapolisUSA

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