Lab Test

Epstein Barr Virus Antibody to Viral Capsid Antigen, IgG

EBV VCA IgG, EBV IgG, Epstein-Barr Virus IgG

Test Codes

EPIC: LAB5830, SOFT: EBVG

Specimen Collection Criteria

Collect: One Gold-top SST tube. (Minimum Whole Blood: 2.0 mL)

Physician Office/Draw Specimen Preparation

Let specimen clot 30-60 minutes then immediately centrifuge to separate serum from cells. Refrigerate (2-8°C or 36-46°F) the centrifuged collection tube within twelve hours of collection. (Minimum: 0.5 mL)

Preparation for Courier Transport

Transport: Centrifuged collection tube, refrigerated (2-8°C or 36-46°F). (Minimum: 0.5 mL)

Rejection Criteria

Plasma specimens. 

Severely lipemic, icteric, or grossly hemolyzed specimens.    

 

In-Lab Processing

Let specimen clot 30-60 minutes then immediately centrifuge to separate serum from cells. Room temperature is acceptable for a maximum of twelve hours. (Minimum: 0.5 mL)


Storage

Specimen Stability for Testing:

Centrifuged SST Tubes, Red-top Tubes, and Microtainers®
Room Temperature (20-26°C or 68-78.8°F): 12 hours
Refrigerated (2-8°C or 36-46°F): 7 days
Frozen (-20°C/-4°F or below): Unacceptable

Serum Specimens (Pour-Overs)
Room Temperature (20-26°C or 68-78.8°F): 12 hours
Refrigerated (2-8°C or 36-46°F): 7 days
Frozen (-20°C/-4°F or below): 3 months

Specimen Storage in Department Prior to Disposal:

Refrigerated (2-8°C or 36-46°F): 7 days

Laboratory

Royal Oak Special Testing Laboratory

Performed

Monday – Friday.
Results available within two business days.

Reference Range

Negative.

Test Methodology

Indirect Chemiluminescent Immunoassay (CLIA).

Interpretation

The EBV IgG results should be evaluated in relation to the patients symptoms, clinical history, and other laboratory findings to establish a diagnosis.

False negative results may occur if the specimen is drawn in the early stages of infection.

This assay can not distinguish between active and past infections. An EBV IgM assay should be performed for individuals suspected of primary EBV.

Clinical Utility

The EBV IgG assay is of value in demonstrating previous exposure to EBV and to aid in the diagnosis of an acute EBV infection.

EBV-VCA IgG may be detectable at the onset of clinical symptoms or it may appear 1-2 weeks later. VCA IgG titers usually peak during the clinical illness and demonstration of a four-fold increase in antibody levels is generally not possible . EBV-VCA IgG titers may decline somewhat after the clinical symptoms subside but antibody levels remain detectable throughout the patient's lifetime.

Clinical Disease

Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is the etiological agent of infectious mononucleosis and has been implicated in African Burkitt's lymphoma and nasopharyngeal carcinoma.

Childhood infections may be asymptomatic or produce "flu-like" illness. Adolescents and adults who escape infection during childhood experience infectious mononucleosis (IM). IM is characterized by irregular fever, pharyngitis, and lymphadenopathy lasting 1 to 4 weeks. Hematological abnormalities include an absolute increase in lymphocytes and monocytes exceeding 50% and more than 15% atypical lymphocytes, lasting for at least 2 weeks. Liver function tests generally reveal a mild to moderate increase in SPGT, SGOT, bilirubin, and LDH levels. IM is usually a benign and self-limited disease. Complications including splenomegaly and splenic rupture, hepatitis, pericarditis, myocarditis, or central nervous system involvement (Guillain-Barre syndrome, Bell's palsy, transverse myelitis, and meningoencephalitis) may occur following IM infection. (1)

Epidemiology

EBV occurs throughout the world and more than 90% of adults have IgG antibodies to the virus. Most individuals acquire EBV early in life. Seroepidemiologic studies have indicated that 50% of children have antibodies to the virus by the time they are 5 years of age. No seasonality has been demonstrated. (1)

Incubation Period

The incubation period is 4–7 weeks. (1)

Transmission

EBV is poorly contagious. Transmission is via salivary contact, either through kissing or by exposure to contaminated eating implements. (1)

Reference

1. Wiedbrauk D, Johnston SLG. Manual of Clinical Virology, Raven Press, New York, NY, 1993.

CPT Codes

86665
LOINC: 5157-3

Contacts

Last Updated

5/5/2021

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