Glandular fever (mononucleosis, EBV infection)

21 October 2017

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Glandular fever (infectious mononucleosis, EBV infection) affects mainly Adolescents and young adults.  The typical symptoms of the disease include fever, sore throat and swollen lymph nodes.

What's glandular fever?
Glandular fever is a disease of the lymphatic tissue, mostly harmless runs. Trigger is an infection with the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). After an EBV infection normally remains lifelong immune, so it can not infect again with mononucleosis itself.

Glandular fever occurs mainly in younger people 15-30 years.

By the age of 30 has almost everyone in the population (Over 95 percent) infected with the Epstein-Barr virus. At about every second infected but does not break out the infection - that is, individuals carry the virus, although in itself, but not ill with mononucleosis. Even in children under 5 years of infection does not lead often to the outbreak of disease.

Cause of glandular fever (infectious mononucleosis, EBV) infection is an infection with the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), which belongs to the family of herpes viruses.

Contagion: Typically, the Epstein-Barr virus during acute phase of mononucleosis and over several months later present in the saliva of infected persons. is at this time risk of infection for people who are not immune to the Epstein-Barr virus.

To infection with the Epstein-Barr virus occurs mainly via the saliva at Mouth-to-mouth contact. Therefore glandular fever is colloquially called Kiss disease (Engl. Kissing disease) is known. The viruses arrive with the saliva in the mouth and so ultimately into the cells of the mouth and throat. Here they breed mainly in the epithelial cells of the parotid gland, mouth and tongue, which also excrete the Epstein-Barr virus.

During the acute phase of infection also attacked the Epstein-Barr virus, the almonds (Tonsils) and infect located here B lymphocytes. B lymphocytes are the cells of the lymphatic system and part of the defense system (immune system) of the body. B lymphocytes recognize and normally fight pathogens that enter the body.

However, the Epstein-Barr virus alters the properties of the B-lymphocytes: The cause viruses that the lymphocytes divide and multiply. They also ensure that the B-lymphocytes specific care antibody produce (so-called. heterophile antibodies).

Via the lymphatic and blood stream the modified B-lymphocytes are distributed in the body. So they go to the lymph nodes and internal organs such as the liver and spleen. The B-lymphocytes form certain substances that are responsible for ensuring that the swell organs and increase.

Glandular fever (infectious mononucleosis, EBV infection) do by various symptoms noticeable. Usually occur first Strength Sore throat and difficulties swallowing on. Then can other symptoms show how:

Throughout the course of the disease, many sufferers have (sometimes high) fever. This sounds intermittently, and then increases again.

Glandular fever is manifested by typical symptoms of the lymph nodes: These swell at different points of the body. especially the Lymph nodes in the neck may take on hard to soft spongy partly up to the size of a hen's egg grow and different consistencies. You feel from hard over soft to spongy. Enlarged lymph nodes are also found in the chest or in the abdomen. The enlarged lymph nodes in the neck are often seen from the outside as swelling.

After the lymph node swelling, a tonsillitis developed at about eight out of ten patients. Among other things, the following symptoms:

These changes form usually back after about one to two weeks.

Also the Spleen may be enlarged (So-called. Splenomegaly) and reaches more than every second person concerned at the end of the disease process at its maximum, so as in the second or third week of the disease. After that, this increase is slowly back.

Rarely is glandular fever manifested by symptoms such as:

A glandular fever (infectious mononucleosis, EBV infection), the doctor recognizes frequently have the symptoms. However, a reliable diagnosis it can supply only after he certain blood values has been studied. For symptoms such as fever, swollen lymph nodes and tonsillitis, and fatigue may also occur in association with other disorders, such as a bacteria caused by tonsillitis.

Typically seen in the blood count an increase of the lymphocytes (So-called. Lymphocytosis). Lymphocytes are a type of white blood cells and is important for the immune defense.

In addition, the detection of certain applies antibody (So-called. Heterophilic antibodies) against the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) in the blood as evidence of glandular fever (so-called. Henle test).

Takes glandular fever an atypical course, the diagnosis difficult. bring certainty additional antibody determinations, For example, antibodies against EBNA (= EBV-specific nuclear antigen). These antibodies are only six to twelve weeks after Onset on. A EBNA evidence points to a recently about standenes glandular fever.

If necessary, however, be the relieve symptoms. For pain or fever, for example, analgesics from the group of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen help.

antibiotics (E.g., doxycycline) are only attached to the treatment in mononucleosis if in addition to EBV infection is a bacterial infection occurs.

is a enlarged spleen or liver before, sufferers should at least for safety not three months sports to exclude that the enlarged organ does not tear.

Glandular fever (infectious mononucleosis, EBV infection) usually takes a uncomplicated course. The viral infection usually heals in about two to three weeks by itself and without consequence off.

In rare Cases can occur complications of mononucleosis. This is especially for people affected by the case, whose immune system is weakened anyway, such as a different disease.

The possible complications can affect different organs:

In people with immunodeficiencies, such as in HIV infection, a suppressed immune response (immunosuppression) or after organ transplantation in congenital immune deficiencies, can the so-called lymphomas develop. Lymphomas are tumors of altered white blood cells (lymphocytes). With an unfavorable course of the lymphoma degenerate later cancerous (malignant).

in the blood , the number following cells lose weight:

Glandular fever may also run chronic and not typical of the symptoms forth. Fever and fatigue affect the victims in this case sometimes several months, until finally the EBV infection is recognized as a cause.

Mononucleosis you can prevent by avoiding contact with people who are acutely ill it. In particular, you should be careful contact with saliva to prevent as he can, for example, while kissing, but also by common use of glasses or cutlery, arise.


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