Purpose of review
Infectious mononucleosis is a common, usually self-limited disease. However, infectious mononucleosis may present with severe manifestations. Complications may also occur. Consequently, diagnostic and treatment issues regarding infectious mononucleosis are of major importance.
In this review, we focus on the evaluation of articles providing diagnosis and treatment data for infectious mononucleosis, published during the past 2 years. Twelve studies, deriving from extended search in PubMed, were included. Nine studies provided diagnosis data. The evaluated diagnostic methods were real-time PCR (RT-PCR), IgM/IgG antibodies measured with different assays [measurement of Epstein–Barr virus viral load (EBV-VL) in peripheral blood, neutrophil/lymphocyte/monocyte counts, C-reactive protein values, and monospot test]. The sensitivities reported for RT-PCR were high. The available treatment data were scarce (three studies). Two of them suggested that antivirals (mainly acyclovir and valacyclovir) may have a role in the treatment of infectious mononucleosis with complications, whereas the remaining study presented novel potential therapeutic patents including 5-substituted uracyle, azacytosine derivatives, and peptides inhibiting EBV-mediated membrane fusion.
RT-PCR and measurement of EBV-VL may provide useful tools for the early diagnosis of infectious mononucleosis in cases with inconclusive serological results. Antiviral agents may provide a useful treatment option in patients with severe infectious mononucleosis.