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EBV Quantitative PCR (Viral Load)

Microbiology


Summary

Nucleic acid amplification assay for the detection and quantification of Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) DNA extracted from whole blood.

The assay used detects a specific target in a region of the EBNA-1 gene of EBV.

Usage

Used for  detection of infection in transplant / immunocompromised patients.

Background

EBV is a double stranded DNA virus of the Herpesvirus family; it is one of the most common viruses in humans and nearly everybody will have been infected by adulthood. Infection is usually asymptomatic in young children but delayed primary infection can cause infectious mononucleosis (“glandular fever”). After initial infection the virus will become latent in a small number of B-lymphocytes and in immunocompetent individuals will cause no further issues as periodic reactivation of the virus will be supressed by the immune system. However in immunosuppressed organ transplant recipients failure to control proliferation of the virus can lead to Post-transplant Lymphoproliferative Disorder (PTLD); this is where lymphocytes multiply out of control which can lead to conditions ranging from the hyperplasia (enlargement due to the increase of cells) of an organ or tissue to the development of a lymphoma (cancer of the lymphatic system.)

Specimen

Whole blood (collected in EDTA)

Specimen Container

EDTA (pink top) 5ml

Special Instructions

Please state type of immunosuppression in the clinical details e.g. transplant patient

Urgent Specimen Instructions

Please contact the laboratory to discuss any urgent requests.

Availability

Local test

Turnaround Time

3 days

Reporting

EBV viral loads will be reported in IU/ml and where appropriate a log will be given.

Lower limit of detection 103 IU/ml

Lower limit of quantification 250 IU/ml

(Please note, we no longer report copies/mL – 1 IU/mL equals approximately 0.3 copies/mL)

Specimen Labelling Procedure
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