Epstein Barr virus (EBV), also known as Herpesvirus 4, is a member of the Herpesvirus family. EBV infection usually occurs early in life and remains asymptomatic in most cases. However, EBV can cause infectious mononucleosis in adolescents and EBV has also been associated with a range of lymphomas, including Burkitt’s lymphoma, carcinomas and autoimmune disease. In cases of symptomatic EBV infection, the condition can be confused with other viral infections and therefore differential diagnosis may be important in certain cases, particularly in immunocompromised patients.
EBV is widely distributed and is estimated to affect around 90% of the human population. In developing countries, most children contract EBV infection at an early age. Whereas, in developed countries, primary EBV infection is more common in adolescents and adults. The Epstein-Barr virus is commonly spread from human-to-human through saliva and other body fluids (Centers for disease control and prevention).
Diagnostic approaches for the detection of EBV infection are continually developing. Indirect Immunofluorescence (IFA) is the gold standard for EBV sero-diagnosis but cannot be easily standardized. Immunoassays, designed to detect patient EBV specific antibodies, are also used to diagnose EBV infection. Recombinant fragments of EBV viral capsid antigens (VCA), including Epstein Barr Virus gp125 (also known as BALF4), and EBV encoded nuclear antigen-1 (EBNA) are commonly used in these assays to determine acute and past infections (Heiss, RD).
The recombinant Epstein Barr Virus gp125 developed and manufactured by The Native Antigen Company is suitable for research and development into Epstein-Barr virus biology, and for immunoassay development.