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Expert Rev Anti Infect Ther. 2006 Dec;4(6):1039-49.

Recent advances in the understanding of infectious mononucleosis: are prospects improved for treatment or control?

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  • 1The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, 1830 East Monument Street, #449, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA.


Symptomatic primary Epstein-Barr virus infection is known more commonly as infectious mononucleosis, an illness known for afflicting adolescents and younger adults as a febrile illness accompanied by pharyngitis and lymphadenopathy. Historically believed to be generally benign, infectious mononucleosis has been linked more recently to increased risks of developing Hodgkin's lymphoma and multiple sclerosis. Advances in the understanding of host immune responses to Epstein-Barr virus have begun to elucidate the reasons why younger children typically experience subclinical infection whereas older individuals develop infectious mononucleosis. This review will highlight recent advances in the understanding of primary Epstein-Barr virus infection, and whether prospective treatments or vaccine strategies may affect native infection and its sequelae.

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