What is Mononucleosis Spot Test?
Mononucleosis spot test is a test done to determine whether a person is suffering from Epstein-Barr virus that can lead to mononucleosis infection.
As the virus infects the body, the immune system gets active to fight against it. This leads to the release of antibodies. The test looks for the presence of these antibodies.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), says mononucleosis spot test should not be recommended for general use. It may indicate the mononucleosis infection but does not confirm the presence of the Epstein-Barr virus.(1)
What is Mononucleosis?
Mononucleosis is a viral infection caused by the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), a type of herpes virus.
Mononucleosis is also referred to as ‘mono’ or ‘kissing disease’ and is considered a serious and life-threatening illness.
The disease affects teenagers and young adults. The symptoms of Mononucleosis last from several weeks to a couple of months. The Mononucleosis symptoms include:
- Sore throat
- Swollen glands
- Body aches
- Severe fatigue
- Loss of appetite
- Swollen spleen,liver, or both
The symptoms make it difficult for a person to carry out daily activities normally.
How Is The Mononucleosis Spot Test Done?
Once the symptoms of mononucleosis infection develop, the test is advised. This is usually after 4-6 days of infection. Mononucleosis spot tests help diagnose the illness.
The Mononucleosis spot test is performed by a healthcare provider. He takes a blood sample from a vein from inside the elbow or back of the vein. Sometimes a simple finger prick test is also used.
The sample is viewed microscopically.
Results Of Mononucleosis Spot Test
If the result of the test is positive, it means the antibodies are detected in the blood sample, and the person is infected with the Epstein-Barr virus.
In rare cases, the Mononucleosis spot test is positive even if there is no mononucleosis infection. This false-positive test may occur in people with:(2)
The doctor diagnosis the condition as mononucleosis and the treatment is done accordingly. The patient is advised to take rest and increase the fluid intake. Pain relievers are advised to lower the fever.
There is no specific treatment for mononucleosis. The doctor mostly treats the symptoms that result from the infection. If the spleen is infected the person is advised to avoid contact sports and strenuous activities.
Complications Associated With A Mononucleosis Spot Test
Mononucleosis is a completely safe test. Some may feel a little lightheaded after the test. They can sit for sometime in the doctor’s office, till it passes.
Other complication includes soreness at the site of injection. It occurs mostly when the healthcare provider has a difficult time searching for veins to obtain the blood sample. A person may also get a hematoma, basically a bruise. It heals within a few days. The doctor may advise a warm compress if any swelling is noticed.
There are a few chances of the injection site getting infected. The place where the injection is inserted is wiped with an alcohol swab to prevent the risk of infection. Make sure you keep an eye on the site of needle injection to look for any signs of infection.
If you are taking aspirin or suffering from any bleeding disorder make sure to inform your doctor beforehand.