Hi everyone. I'm hoping the EBV experts here may be able to help me.
I have been suffering from recurrent fevers for the past 3 years. A fever, and all of the associated things that come with a fever (headache, muscle aches, tired, etc) have been my main symptom. In March of 2009 I had an outbreak of genital ulcers but I tested negative for HSV I and HSV II. Right now I am suffering from a three week spell of fevers and I have had another outbreak of genital ulcers.
My gyn tested me for EBV yesterday because it is listed in the differential diagnosis for genital ulcers. My test results came back today as follows:
The reference range for the lab is 8.0 POSTIVE
EBV VCA IgM 3.2 POSITIVE
EBNA AB IgG >8.0 POSITIVE
EBV Early Antigen IgG >8.0 POSITIVE
I'm not really sure what all of this means. Has anyone had an EBV infection that has caused symptoms for 3+ years? I have received extensive treatment for many drs. (ID, Hematology, Rheum, Genetics, Hepatology, etc.) and had many procedures (CT, PET, Brain MRI, bone marrow biopsy, liver biopsy) and been tested for countless diseases, infections, autoimmune diseases, etc. and nothing is positive. The ONLY positive test I have had, which I had at the very beginning of my illness, was for Lyme disease. My drs. feel that was a false positive because I did not get better after antibiotic treatment.
Any insight on whether or not these EBV results mean anything would be greatly appreciated.
I do have symptoms and have had symtoms since my initial infection about 2 years ago. My symtoms come and go. I have weeks where I feel nearly 100%---but never totally well. I have noticed a very, very slow trend in feeling a little bit better as the months have dragged on. I am cautiously optimistic that I will eventually get back to my old self. The vast majority of people recover and I have no reason to believe that I won't be one of them. I am not immunocompromised and have been tested for everything under the sun. Unfortunately, my age (40ish) has made it more difficult to recover. My primary doc has sent me to two infectious disease specialists and they all feel that full recovery from EBV can take up to 7 years, but the average is 2-4 years.
Regarding your labs, most doctors do not fully understand EBV or how to interpret the titers. Your doctor is mistaken. Although 90% of people walking around would be positive for EBV VCA IgG and EBNA AB IgG---as those are indicative of a past infection, most people do not test positive for IgM unless they are within a couple of months of a brand new infection. IgM is supposed to go negative after a few months to about a year. Rarely, IgM remains persistently positive. There are no clear explanation as to why this can happen. Researchers have found positive IgM to EBV in some chronic fatigue syndrome sufferers. Have you checked the symptoms of CFS or talked to your doc about it? I have decided not to worry too much about my titers. They are high when I feel great and they are high when I feel like crap.
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