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Oral manifestations of infectious mononucleosis - systematic review

Miyrem Salieva, Radilina Dimitrova, Christiana Madjova


Introduction: Infectious mononucleosis is caused by the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). It is a gamma-her­pesvirus that can affect anyone. Infectious mononucleosis is a benign condition but sometimes it is associated with serious pathogenic consequences. The aim of this study is to make a systematic review of scientific articles and surveys about infectious mononucleosis. Thus to provide detailed informa­tion about diagnostic criteria, symptoms and treatment, which may be useful for dental practitioners.

Materials and methods: The data was extracted from PubMed, Google Scholar, PubMed Central and Science Direct. The referenced list of papers were examined also for some relevant additions that may have been missed during the initial search. The search was limited to databases up to 2010.

Results: At least 90% of the human population is infected with EBV. The majority of cases do not show any symptoms. High viral loads in the oral cavity and blood characterize the acute form of EBV ill­ness. The main mechanism of transmission is from person to person by infected saliva, blood trans­fusion and blood products. The symptoms of infectious mononucleosis are sore throat, significant fa­tigue, palatal petechiae, posterior cervical or auricular adenopathy, marked adenopathy or inguinal adenopathy. Patients aged 10-30 years are most often affected. B-cells of lymphoid tissue are a pre­dilection for infection with EBV. The disease is generally self-limiting and there is no specific treat­ment. EBV is a lifelong infection.

Conclusion: Infectious mononucleosis is not a serious illness. Nevertheless, it can affect daily activi­ties. The knowledge of this disease can diminish the risk of complications.


infectious mononucleosis; oral manifestation; EBV



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