Genital ulcers as initial manifestation of Epstein-Barr virus infection: two new cases and a review of the literature

Acta Derm Venereol. 2006;86(5):439-42. doi: 10.2340/00015555-0140.


Genital ulceration is an uncommon manifestation of primary Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection. We present here two cases of genital ulcers probably caused by EBV. The first case is a 12-year-old girl with a genital ulcer appearing before specific EBV serology could identify a primary infection. However, serology was positive 13 days after the ulcer appeared. Polymerase chain reaction for EBV was positive in the biopsy from the ulcer as well. The second case is an 18-year-old female in whom the specific EBV serology was positive 8 days after appearance of the ulcer. The ulcers in both cases healed after 21 days. We reviewed the literature and a total of 26 cases of EBV-associated genital ulcers in females are now published. Median age of the 26 cases is 14.5 years of whom only 6 reports previous sexual contact. Mean healing time for the ulcers is 18 days. Our two cases correspond well with clinical reports of 24 EBV-associated genital ulcers in the literature.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Epstein-Barr Virus Infections / complications*
  • Epstein-Barr Virus Infections / diagnosis
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infectious Mononucleosis / diagnosis
  • Ulcer / pathology
  • Ulcer / virology*
  • Vulvar Diseases / pathology
  • Vulvar Diseases / virology*