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J Clin Microbiol. Jul 1995; 33(7): 1765–1768.
PMCID: PMC228265

Detection and quantification of virus DNA in plasma of patients with Epstein-Barr virus-associated diseases.


Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) causes various diseases, such as infectious mononucleosis (IM), fatal IM, EBV-associated hemophagocytic syndrome (EBVAHS), and chronic active EBV infection (CAEBV). In the present study, cell-free EBV DNA was detected in the plasma of patients with EBV-associated diseases by PCR assay. The patients included 20 patients with IM, 2 patients with fatal IM, 4 patients with EBVAHS, 4 patients with CAEBV, and 38 healthy children (20 EBV seropositive and 18 EBV seronegative). In patients with IM, plasma samples were positive for EBV DNA in all patients (100%) in the acute phase and in 44% of the patients in the convalescent phase, but plasma samples from the 38 healthy control children were negative (0%) for EBV DNA. Quantitative PCR assay revealed that plasma from patients with IM contained the highest amount of virus DNA within 7 days following the onset of disease (mean, 6 x 10(4) copies per ml). The EBV DNA concentration decreased thereafter as the patients recovered. Plasma from patients with fatal IM contained more than 100 times more copies of EBV DNA (3 x 10(7) copies per ml) than plasma from patients with IM. Plasma from patients with the acute phase of EBVAHS contained 10 times more copies of EBV DNA (5 x 10(5) copies per ml) than plasma from IM, and then patients with the number of copies decreased similarly in both groups of patients in the convalescent phase (2 x 10(4) copies per ml). The amount of virus DNA in patients with CAEBV (6 x 10(4) copies per ml) was similar to that noted in patients with IM; however, it became higher (1 x 10(6) copies per ml) when the patients' clinical status deteriorated.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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Selected References

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