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Rapid Whole Blood Testing for Infectious Mononucleosis Antibodies


The Epstein Barr virus (EBV), which causes infectious mononucleosis (IM), is one of the most common human viruses. EBV occurs worldwide, and most people become infected with EBV sometime during their lives. In the United States, as many as 95 percent of adults between 35 and 40 years of age have been infected. In most developed countries, including the U.S., infection with EBV most often occurs during adolescence or young adulthood, causing infectious mononucleosis in 35 percent to 50 percent of infected individuals.

While treatment of IM normally entails mere bed rest and adequate intake of fluids and the disease is typically self-limiting, it can be devastating in immunocompromised patients and occasionally precipitates serious complications that can include: coronary and neurologic infections, compromised respiration secondary to acute lymphadenopathy, anemia and ruptured spleen. Therefore, accurate diagnosis and prompt treatment of complications is important. Differential diagnosis of IM is also useful in ruling out other mononucleosis-like illnesses induced by cytomegalovirus, adenovirus, or Toxoplasma gondii.

The characteristic triad of fever, pharyngitis, and lymphadenopathy lasting for one to four weeks, together with the age of the patient (most typically adolescent) suggest the clinical diagnosis of (IM). Laboratory tests are usually advisable for confirmation. Serologic findings include a normal to moderately elevated white blood cell count, an increased total number of lymphocytes and greater than 10 percent atypical lymphocytes. In keeping with the rapid proliferation of point-of-care diagnostic kits and devices, several products have now been CLIA-waived by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

At present, 13 biomedical manufacturers produce 17 distinct test kit products that have gained CLIA waivers.

Thermo Electron Corporation, Waltham, Mass., manufactures the BioStar Acceava Mono Test for both C
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