When was Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infectious mononucleosis (mono) first described and how was it characterized?

Updated: Sep 20, 2018
  • Author: Burke A Cunha, MD; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Infectious mononucleosis was first described by Sprunt and Evans in the Bulletin of the Johns Hopkins Hospital in 1920. [1] They described the clinical characteristics of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infectious mononucleosis. At the time, their article was entitled "Mononuclear leukocytosis in reaction to acute infection (infectious mononucleosis)," because the causative organism, EBV, had yet to be described.

Since the 1800s, infectious mononucleosis has been recognized as a clinical syndrome consisting of fever, pharyngitis, and adenopathy. The term glandular fever was first used in 1889 by German physicians and was termed Drüsenfieber. The association between infectious mononucleosis and EBV was described in the late 1960s.

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