Infectious mononucleosis and mononucleosis-like illnesses in children and adults in Saudi Arabia

J Trop Pediatr. 1989 Jun;35(3):121-5. doi: 10.1093/tropej/35.3.121.


The diagnosis of heterophil antibody positive, heterophil negative infectious mononucleosis and mononucleosis-like illnesses as made in 58 children and adult patients with clinical features suggestive of the mononucleosis syndrome and significant number of atypical lymphocytes. Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) specific serological tests revealed that six children and 23 adults had primary heterophil positive EBV infections based on the detection of IgM to EB-viral capsid antigens (IgM-VCA), presence of IgG to DB-early antigens (EA-D) and absence of antibodies to EB-nuclear antigen (EBNA). A further nine cases (five children, four in adults) of heterophil negative EBV infectious mononucleosis were likewise detected by EBV-specific serologic tests. Fourteen cases including one in children were due to active cytomegalovirus (CMV) infections as evident by positive CMV-IgM; they were all heterophil negative. Of the remaining heterophil negative cases, one was due to T. gondii with positive Toxo-IgM and five cases were of undetermined aetiology.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Antibodies, Heterophile / analysis
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cytomegalovirus Infections / diagnosis
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Herpesvirus 4, Human / isolation & purification
  • Humans
  • Infectious Mononucleosis / diagnosis*
  • Saudi Arabia


  • Antibodies, Heterophile