What Is an EBV Blood Test?


Quick Answer

The EBV blood test is used to test for the presence of the Epstein-Barr virus in the blood, according to Healthline. This is one of the most common viruses in the world, affecting up to 95 percent of the population of the United States between the ages of 35 and 40 at some point in their lifetimes.

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Full Answer

The blood test for checking for EBV detects the presence of EBV antibodies. These antibodies are proteins that are released by the body's immune system in response to EBV antigens. The test checks for both current EBV infection and previous infections.

An EBV test is generally ordered when symptoms or signs of infectious mononucleosis are suspected. Infectious mononucleosis is caused by the EBV virus. Symptoms of the condition include sore throat, fever, swollen lymph glands, stiff neck, fatigue and headache. Age and other factors are considered before testing. Mononucleosis is more common in teens than adults. It is spread through saliva, a fact that earned it the moniker of "the kissing disease."

Abnormal results from an EBV test indicate the presence of EBV antibodies. This may be a current or past infection; the difference is determined based on the presence of certain types of EBV antibodies. Current infections are indicated by the presence of VCA IgM antibodies, notes Healthline.

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