What are Mononucleosis (Mono) Tests?
Mononucleosis (mono) is an infectious disease caused by a virus. Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is the most common cause of mono, but other viruses can also cause the disease.
EBV is a type of herpes virus and is very common. Young children infected with EBV often have mild or no symptoms.
However, teens and young adults are more likely to become mono and experience noticeable symptoms. In fact, at least one in four teens and adults who get EBV develops mono.
Monospot Test. This test looks for specific antibodies in the blood. These antibodies appear during or after certain infections, including mono.
How are Mono Tests Applied?
You will need to give a blood sample from your fingertip or from a vein. For a fingertip blood test, a healthcare professional will prick your middle or ring finger with a small needle.
After wiping off the first drop of blood, he will place a small tube on your finger and collect a small amount of blood. You may feel a pinch when the needle pierces your finger.
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What Are Mono Tests Used For?
Mono tests are used to help diagnose a mono infection. Your provider can use a monospot to get fast results.
Results are usually available within an hour. However, this test has a high false negative rate.
For this reason, monospot tests are often ordered with an EBV antibody test and other tests that look for infections.
A complete blood count and/or blood smear that checks for high levels of white blood cells is a sign of infection.
Throat Culture. It is used to control strep throat with symptoms similar to mono. Strep throat is a bacterial infection that is treated with antibiotics. Antibiotics do not work for viral infections such as mono.
Why You May Need Mono Tests?
If you or your child has symptoms of mono, your healthcare provider may order one or more mono tests. Symptoms include:
Swollen glands, especially in the neck and/or armpits