Epstein Barr Virus DNA

Diagnostic Use

Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is a ubiquitous herpesvirus that infects the majority of the world population (seroprevalence is greater than 95%). After a primary infection (transmission through contact with saliva), EBV remains latent in B cells.
Periodically, EBV can reactivate in immunocompetent individuals. This reactivation is characterized by the production of virions in the oropharynx but is asymptomatic.

EBV is the causative agent of infectious mononucleosis (Glandular fever). It is also involved in the pathogenesis of several cancers such as Burkitt’s lymphoma, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and nasopharyngeal carcinoma. In immunosuppressed individuals, EBV can lead to B-cell lymphoproliferative disorders.

Post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorders (PTLD) are lymphoid and/or plasmacytic proliferations that occur as a result of immunosuppression in the setting of solid organ or allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation. PTLDs are among the most serious complications of transplantation.

Serological investigations are recommended prior to requesting DNA testing. Please refer to Infectious Mononucleosis screen or Epstein-Barr serology tests.
Diagnosis of EBV infection in immunocompromised patients can be problematic. Serological testing may be difficult to interpret due to most adults being seropositive due to prior EBV infections.

EBV is known to cause encephalitis and other neurological syndromes. EBV is associated with most cases of primary CNS lymphoma in patients with AIDS.

Viral load testing is a specialist test intended for monitoring in immunocompromised patients. Please make very clear on the request form that viral load/PCR is required, if EBV only is requested then serology is likely to be collected/registered.


Microbiology - Virology

Delphic Registration Code


Laboratory Handling


Dedicated EDTA required


Testing is performed routinely on Thursday afternoons, with results available Friday morning.



Turnaround Time

7 days

Test Code