Complement-fixing antibodies against an antigen prepared from the EB3 line of cultured Burkitt tumour cells were studied in various groups of patients and control individuals. Higher antibody titres were observed in patients with Burkitt's tumour than in African patients with other diagnoses. Significantly more medical students and nurses with a history of infectious mononucleosis possessed antibodies than those with no such history. Low levels of antibody were observed in patients during the acute phase of infectious mononucleosis and these levels were significantly lower than those in patients admitted to the same hospital with other diagnoses.
During the early months following the acute phase of illness, EB complement-fixing antibodies remained stationary or apparently declined in titre but, in patients tested one or more years later, significantly higher antibody levels were observed.