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Pediatr Infect Dis. 1986 May-Jun;5(3):325-7.

Two pseudo-outbreaks of infectious mononucleosis.

Abstract

Two outbreaks of suspected infectious mononucleosis (IM) were investigated. In the first outbreak IM was diagnosed in nine children attending a day care center. They had been tested in physicians' offices for heterophile antibody using rapid differential slide tests; all tests had been reported positive. On retesting, none of the suspected cases had detectable serum heterophile antibody. The initial test results had been falsely positive as a result of poor laboratory technique. In the second outbreak IM had been diagnosed in 285 college students. Suspected cases had been found to have serum IgG antibody to the viral capsid antigen of Epstein-Barr virus, but most had not been tested for the presence of heterophile antibody. Retesting of 64 students within 1 month of initial testing yielded only one with heterophile antibody. With the exception of young children (less than 4 years of age), differential slide tests for heterophile antibody are sensitive and specific for recent Epstein-Barr virus infection if properly performed. Viral capsid antigen to Epstein-Barr virus (IgG) titers are of limited usefulness in diagnosing acute IM. The misdiagnosis of IM can be prevented by the appropriate selection, performance and interpretation of diagnostic laboratory tests.

PMID:
3014455
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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