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Epstein-Barr Virus Infection

  • Authors: Gloria Delisle, Lewis Tomalty
  • Citation: Gloria Delisle, Lewis Tomalty. 2009. Epstein-barr virus infection.
  • Publication Date : December 2009
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The two images compare peripheral blood smears from a healthy individual (Fig. 1) with those from a patient with infectious mononucleosis caused by Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) (Fig. 2). Both smears are stained with Giemsa stain.

All individuals have several types of defense cells, including polymorphonuclear leukocytes and lymphocytes. In the second image from the infected patient, note the atypical lymphocytes or Downey cells that are characteristic of EBV-infected B lymphocytes. The atypical lymphocytes have deformed nuclei and a dark-rimmed cytoplasm. The presence of these atypical lymphocytes can be used as a diagnostic test for infectious mononucleosis.

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