Serum samples from 40 students with suspected infectious mononucleosis were tested for the presence of antibodies to intermediate filaments (AIFA) of the cytoskeleton. Twenty had antibodies to the Epstein-Barr virus capsid antigen before their illness, and during it their sera remained negative by the Paul-Bunnell test. The other 20 patients did not have antibodies to the Epstein-Barr virus capsid antigen before their illness and seroconverted during the illness. These patients (true infectious mononucleosis group) developed positive Paul-Bunnell tests. Sera from normal subjects (blood donors) were also tested for AIFA. AIFA was present in titres greater than 1/10 in 80% of the infectious mononucleosis group (mean titre 1/40-1/80), 10% of the Paul-Bunnell negative glandular fever group, and 8.5% of the normal blood donors.
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