Epstein-Barr Virus Associated With Episodes of Recurrent Tonsillitis

Arch Otolaryngol. 1975 Sep;101(9):552-6. doi: 10.1001/archotol.1975.00780380030007.


A group of patients with a history of recurrent tonsillitis were observed during an acute episode to determine the cause of the infection. The microbial pathogen that was consistently implicated was the Epstein-Barr virus. Seventeen (65%) of 26 patients exhibited a substantial seroconversion to the early antigen of Epstein-Barr-virus-infected lymphoblastoid cells (P3HR-1). We conclude that there is a high incidence of tonsillitis associated with the Epstein-Barr virus. The propensity of the virus for the palatine tonsils, a rich source of B cells, in suggested. Furthermore, the value of monitoring early antigen titers to confirm the nature of the infection is apparent, bearing relevance to future studies of this virus.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Antibodies, Viral / analysis
  • Antigens, Viral / analysis
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Herpesvirus 4, Human / immunology
  • Herpesvirus 4, Human / isolation & purification*
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin A / analysis
  • Immunoglobulin G / analysis
  • Immunoglobulin M / analysis
  • Infectious Mononucleosis / immunology
  • Infectious Mononucleosis / microbiology
  • Recurrence
  • Streptococcus / isolation & purification
  • Tonsillitis / blood
  • Tonsillitis / immunology
  • Tonsillitis / microbiology*


  • Antibodies, Viral
  • Antigens, Viral
  • Immunoglobulin A
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Immunoglobulin M