Epstein – Barr virus (EBV) is a member of the herpes virus family, also a human tumor virus and one of the most common human viruses. The virus takes place worldwide, infects more than 95% of the world’s population, and most people become infected with EBV sometime during their lives. These infections usually cause no symptoms which are indistinguishable from the other mild, brief illnesses of childhood.

However, valid laboratory evidence for continued active EBV infection is seldom found in patients. Then illness should be investigated further to determine if it meets the criteria for chronic fatigue syndrome, or CFS. This process includes ruling out other causes of chronic illness or fatigue.

It causes infectious mononucleosis adolescence or young adulthood. Complications occur with mono including a temporarily enlarged spleen or inflamed liver, the spleen may rupture, producing sharp pain on the left side of the abdomen, a symptom that warrants immediate medical attention. EBV may also cause significant destruction of the body’s red blood cells or platelets.

EBV also establishes a lifelong dormant infection in some cells of the body’s immune system. Most individuals exposed to people with infectious mono have previously been infected with EBV and are not at risk for infectious mono. In addition, EBV is transmitted due to requires close contact with the saliva (found in the mouth) of an infected person. Transmission of this virus through the air or blood does not normally occur.

The incubation period, or the time from infection to appearance of symptoms, ranges from 4 to 6 weeks. Persons with infectious mono may be able to spread the infection to others for a period of weeks. However, no special precautions or isolation procedures are recommended, since the EBV is also found frequently in the saliva of healthy people. In fact, many healthy people can carry and spread the virus intermittently for life. These people are usually the primary reservoir for person-to-person transmission. For this reason, transmission of the virus is almost impossible to prevent.

EBV remains dormant or latent in a few cells in the throat and blood for the rest of the person’s life even though the symptoms of infectious mono resolve in 1 or 2 months. Periodically, the virus can reactivate and is commonly found in the saliva of infected persons. This reactivation usually occurs without symptoms of illness.

Mononucleosis is mainly caused by this Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) and this is a member of herpes virus family. This ubiquitous, highly contagious organism is a member of the Herpesviridae family of viruses (other viruses in this family include herpes simplex, varicella zoster, cytomegalovirus, and human herpes virus 6 & 7). Cytomegalovirus (CMV) can sometimes also cause an illness with the symptoms of mononucleosis.

EBV creates a lifelong dormant infection in some cells of the body’s immune system. A late event in a very few carriers of this virus is the emergence of Burkitt’s lymphoma and nasopharyngeal carcinoma, two rare cancers that are not normally found in the United States. EBV appears to play an important role in these malignancies, but is probably not the sole cause of disease.

Mono is fortunately very rare, but it is very dangerous. This life threatening disorder, which destroys the patient’s blood cells, gives the person a huge spleen and a high fever and severely compromises the immune system. With the new possibilities offered by stem cell research, doctors are position to offer experimental stem cell treatment to patients in this situation.

Experimental Procedure

When the patient with FIM didn’t respond to other treatment because of her compromised immune system, doctors suggested a stem cell transplant treatment. With no other option available, the patient, a young woman, who had been in and out of hospital for a few years, agreed to have this experimental stem cell transplant procedure. The transplant treatment conducted by dr. glen Kennedy, of the Brisbane hospital together with doctors from the QIMR, proved successful and she was able to live a normal life with a restored immune system. This experimental treatment may suitable for other sufferers of the Epstein Barr virus and could offer hope for other similar diseases.

The research, published in the journal for clinical infectious diseases, is the first of type for EBV. Epstein-Barr- virus (EBV) is one of the most common viruses in humans. Nearly all adults in developed countries such as the United States having been infected, and30 to 40 percent of adolescences who contract the virus develop infectious mononucleosis.

Investigating stem cell and modified white blood cells treatment offers ways to possibly control and treat chronic EBV which research shows may be a genetically related disease. Numerous clinical trials are in progress to see the effectiveness of this type of treatment for the different forms of mono, including CMV.

Cancer and EBV

Research into EBV also shows how cells with the EBV virus can transform otherwise benign cells into cancer producing cells. This research was conducted by University of north Carolina School of medicine and published in the proceeding of the national academy of sciences. As scientists start to understand exactly how the EBV virus can take control of cells, the possibility of finding a cure not only for EBV but also for certain types of cancer gets ever closer.

Medical Trials

If you are suffering with EBV, ask your specialist if there are any clinical trials available in your area that you could participate in. remember to make sure you understand all the implications of participating in medical trial before you agree.