Infectious Mononucleosis

Sample type: Plasma

Test name: Infectious Mononucleosis a.k.a. Glandular fever screen, Paul Bunnell, Heterophile Antibody screen

Condition / Indication: Infectious mononucleosis (IM) is caused by infection with Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) in 80% to 90% of cases. Occasionally, detectable levels of Heterophile antibodies are late in developing in patients that are symptomatic for IM and thus if the initial screen is negative, a repeat in 7-10 days may be indicated. If upon repeat, the result is still negative and clinical suspicion remains then testing for EBV serology may be warranted.

Please note: False-negative rates of approximately 25% are found in the first week of infection and are 5% to 10% in the second and third week. False‐negative rates are also reported to be higher in children and in immunocompromised patients.

False-positive results have been reported in patients with autoimmune diseases, parvovirus, recent CMV infection, toxoplasmosis, and rubella.

Special precautions & notes: Pending UKAS accreditation.

Reference range: Positive or negative

Container: EDTA (Lavender top)

Alternative container: Serum (Gold top)

Ideal volume (mL): 3 mL

Discipline: Haematology

Turnaround time: 1 day