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EBV PCR Blood Test

Epstein Barr, PCR Qualitative
Specimen Type: Blood


EBV PCR Blood Test

The EBV (Epstein Barr) PCR Qualitative test is used as a screening for Epstein-Barr Virus.  This test looks for the genetic material of the virus.  PCR testing can be more sensitive than standard antibody testing for EBV.  In cases when antibody tests for EBV fail to produce definitive results, a PCR test may be more useful.  Results for this test are qualitative, meaning they provide a positive or negative response. 

Epstein-Barr Virus is one of the most common viruses with as many as 95% of the people in the US having been exposed by the age of 40.  In many people the virus causes no symptoms. Those infected during adolescence or young adulthood may develop Infectious Mononucleosis (Mono).  Symptoms of Mono typically clear up after a couple months but EBV will remain dormant in the body for the rest of a person's life. Periodic reactivation of the virus may occur but usually does not cause symptoms or illness. EBV is normally spread through contact with an infected person's saliva. Some people remain capable of transmitting the virus throughout their lives.

People suffering from a compromised immune system such as those with HIV/AIDS, recipients of an organ transplant, and people undergoing immunosuppressive therapy may experience more severe complications from reactivation of a latent EBV infection.  In these cases, EBV may be involved in the development of certain types of cancer as well as multiple sclerosis.  For these situations, a PCR test is very helpful for identifying whether the virus is present in their systems.  PCR testing can also be used to monitor treatment for EBV under these circumstances. 

Turnaround time for the EBV PCR test is typically 5-7 business days.

Note: Result turn around times are an estimate and are not guaranteed. Our reference lab may need additional time due to weather, holidays, confirmation/repeat testing, or equipment maintenance.

Incubation Period:

Viral genetic material is typcially detectable within 4-6 weeks of infection but may be detectable sooner in some people.



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