Chronic Epstein-Barr virus infection

Annu Rev Med. 1987;38:195-209. doi: 10.1146/


The Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) has been associated with classic infectious mononucleosis, Burkitt's lymphoma, nasopharyngeal carcinoma, and B-cell lymphomas in primary and secondary immunodeficiency disease. The availability of specific serologic diagnosis of EBV, rather than dependence on heterophile antibody positivity, has broadened the scope of EBV-associated diseases. A chronic neuroasthenia syndrome accompanied by antibody titers to the viral capsid antigen and early antigen of EBV, which are higher than found in asymptomatic individuals, is one such additional EBV-associated syndrome. This paper describes the clinical and laboratory responses to EBV that are present in this chronic syndrome. It then discusses management of these patients and the difficulties in establishing a cause-and-effect relationship between EBV and chronic neuroasthenia along with recommendations for future studies.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Chronic Disease
  • Female
  • Herpesvirus 4, Human
  • Humans
  • Infectious Mononucleosis / diagnosis*
  • Infectious Mononucleosis / etiology
  • Infectious Mononucleosis / immunology
  • Infectious Mononucleosis / therapy
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Recurrence