Heterophile antibody positive infectious mononucleosis
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Objective: The present study has been carried out to analyse the trend of heterophile antibody positive infectious mononucleosis cases.Methods: A total of 1741 cases of clinically suspected infectious mononucleosis from various age groups were investigated during the period January, 1986 to December, 2000 and were analysed for infectious mononucleosis (IM) specific heterophile antibody by Paul-Bunnel-Davidsohn (PBD) test. Forty seven heterophile antibody negative samples were also tested simultaneously for the presence of the IgG antibody to viral capsid antigen (VCA) and Epstein Barr nuclear antigen (EBNA) to detect the exposure to Epstein Barr Virus (EBV) infection.Results : The overall percentage of EBV specific heterophile (Paul-Bunnel) antibody positivity was found to be 11.1 % (194/1741). The average Paul-Bunnel antibody positivity between 1986 to 1990 was 20.5% which declined drastically to 5.7% during 1991-2000. Males comprised of 55.2% of the serologically proven IM cases. Of the 47 heterophile antibody negative cases, 38 (80.9%) and 33 (70.2%) were found to be positive for anti-VCA IgG and anti-EBNA IgG antibodies respectively. Paul Bunnel antibody positivity was found to be higher in > 14 year5 age group patients than those below 14 years.Conclusion : These findings suggest that the EBV infection still continues to be endemic in this part of the country, however, a declining trend in IM cases was observed during the last decade.
Key wordsInfectious mononucleosis Heterophile antibody Epstein Barr Virus
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