A sensitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay was used to measure titers of IgG antibodies against bacterially synthesized Epstein-Barr virus nuclear antigen and early antigen in sera from 100 healthy North Americans, 40 North American patients with infectious mononucleosis, and 48 Asian patients with nasopharyngeal carcinoma. All healthy persons previously infected with Epstein-Barr virus had antibodies to nuclear antigen, and 70% had very low but detectable antibody titers to early antigen. In contrast, patients with mononucleosis had nondetectable or very low levels of antibodies to nuclear antigen and high antibody levels to early antigen. High levels of antibody to early antigen also were seen in patients with nasopharyngeal carcinoma, and a decrease in this response during the first 12 months after diagnosis and treatment was a significant prognostic indicator of survival. The probability of survival was 75% for patients whose antibody concentration to early antigen remained constant or decreased, and near 0% for patients with increasing levels of antibody.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine