Human and viral interleukin-10 in acute Epstein-Barr virus-induced infectious mononucleosis

J Infect Dis. 1995 May;171(5):1347-50. doi: 10.1093/infdis/171.5.1347.


Human interleukin 10 (hIL-10), a product of monocytes, T cells, and B cells, shares extensive structural and functional similarity with viral IL-10 (vIL-10), a product of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) replication. With two ELISAs, one that recognizes both hIL-10 and vIL-10 and the other specific for vIL-10, IL-10 was measured in serum or plasma and in saliva from 50 patients with acute EBV-induced infectious mononucleosis and from 19 normal subjects. In serum or plasma, 60% of the patients had measurable hIL-10 and/or vIL-10 and 18% had measurable vIL-10. In saliva, 20% of the patients had detectable hIL-10 and/or vIL-10 and none had detectable vIL-10. In contrast, hIL-10 and/or vIL-10 was undetectable in all 19 normal serum or plasma samples (P < .001 vs. patient samples). Among normal saliva samples, 21% had detectable hIL-10 and/or vIL-10 but none had detectable vIL-10. Thus, most patients with acute EBV-induced infectious mononucleosis transiently have abnormally high levels of circulating IL-10.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Antibodies, Heterophile / blood
  • Antibodies, Viral / blood
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Humans
  • Infectious Mononucleosis / immunology*
  • Interleukin-10 / analysis*
  • Interleukin-10 / blood
  • Matched-Pair Analysis
  • Saliva / chemistry
  • Viral Proteins / analysis*
  • Viral Proteins / blood


  • Antibodies, Heterophile
  • Antibodies, Viral
  • BCRF1 protein, Human herpesvirus 4
  • Viral Proteins
  • Interleukin-10