What is Epstein Barr Virus? High and low values | Lab results explained

– One of the most common viruses worldwide; infects 90–95% of the population

– Commonly contracted in childhood and causes mild symptoms


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).

Common symptoms of Mono include fatigue, fever, sore throat, swollen lymph glands, and sometimes an enlarged spleen or liver.

Additional complications affecting the heart or nervous system may occur but are rare.

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.

The presence of antibodies to EBNA means that the infection occurred in the past. Antibodies to EBNA develop six to eight weeks after the time of infection and are present for life.


Clinical Implications:

– Positive finding on the GI-MAP indicates active EBV infection of the GI, not past infections

– Can cause infectious mononucleosis (mono)

– Symptoms include fatigue, fever, swollen lymph nodes, inflamed throat, enlarged spleen, and more » May last two to four weeks in adolescents and adults

– May cause fatigue for weeks or months

– Associated with autoimmune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, Sjogren’s, multiple sclerosis, autoimmune thyroid disorders

EBV may increase the risk of gastric cancer; especially if H. pylori present

– May cause colitis

– Found in 30–64% of IBD patients

Therapeutic Options and Considerations:

– Rest and hydration

– Antiviral herbs such as cat’s claw, osha root; antiviral fungi such as reishi and/or Cordyceps mushrooms

– Vitamins A, C, and D, zinc, Echinacea

– Address other imbalances on the GI-MAP and use 5R Protocol to rebuild gut health and gut immunity

– Follow-up blood testing may be indicated, including an EBV Early Antigen and EBV PCR test


Test results may vary depending on your age, gender, health history, the method used for the test, and other things. Your test results may not mean you have a problem. Ask your healthcare provider what your test results mean for you. 

The information on is NOT intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice.

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