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EBV (Epstein Barr Virus) Serology


Test Usage

Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is the aetiological agent of infectious mononucleosis.

First line investigations = Monospot (by Blood Sciences) and differential FBC looking for atypical lymphocytes

2nd line tests:

We perform a combination of antibody tests against Epstein Barr Nuclear Antigen (EBNA) and Viral Capsid antigens (VCA). We provide an interpretation – this is easier to do if you include clinical details and onset dates.


Blood sample (serum)

Specimen container

Gold top clotted (5ml)

How To Request On EPIC

For electronic requesting using EPIC (RDUH ONLY):

Search for: ‘EBV (Epstein-Barr Virus) Serology‘ or test code ‘LAB793


Processed locally in Microbiology at RDUH

Processing Time

48-72 hours

Urgent Specimen Instructions

Please contact the laboratory for enquiries regarding urgent tests

Clinical Decision Values

VCA IgM appears at time of clinical presentation and lasts 4-8 weeks

VCA IgG appears at time of clinical presentation and is lifelong

EBNA IgG appears after 4-8 weeks and is lifelong

If all tests are negative, but clinically the patient has Infectious Mononucleosis (Glandular Fever) request HIV, CMV IgM, CMV IgG and Toxoplasmosis.

Useful links

For Patients:

EBV Antibodies – Lab Tests Online

For Healthcare Professionals:

Glandular fever (infectious mononucleosis) | Health topics A to Z | CKS | NICE

Infectious mononucleosis – Symptoms, diagnosis and treatment | BMJ Best Practice

SMI – V 26 – Epstein-Barr virus serology (rcpath.org)

Specimen Labelling Procedure
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