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J Virol Methods. 1993 May;42(2-3):301-7.

Serological diagnosis of infectious mononucleosis using three anti-Epstein-Barr virus recombinant ELISAs.

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Institute of Medical Microbiology, Medical Academy, Erfurt, FRG.


A new Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) ELISA system (Biotest Anti-EBV recombinant) was evaluated for usefulness for routine diagnosis of EBV primary infection. The assay system is composed of three different microtest plates coated with three highly purified recombinant EBV antigens. The early antigens p138 (BALF2, truncated) and p54 (BMRF1, whole sequence) are used as a mixture for testing IgM (assay 1) and IgG (assay 2) antibodies. In addition, the EBNA-1 antigen p72 (BKRF1, carboxy-half) is used for detecting IgG antibodies (assay 3). Three panels of sera were examined in direct comparison with standard immunofluorescence (IF): Specimens of (i) 120 infectious mononucleosis (IM) patients, (ii) 60 patients with acute CMV infection, toxoplasmosis or rheumatic disease, respectively, and (iii) 185 healthy blood donors as a control group. 119 IM patients were clearly recognized as having acute primary infection (sensitivity 99.2% compared to VCA-IgM by IF). Three apparently false-positive results were obtained with patients of other diseases and none within the control group (specificity 98.8%). The data suggest that the recombinant ELISA can be used advantageously for standardized rapid diagnosis of acute EBV primary infection.

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