This test checks to see if you are infected with the virus that causes mononucleosis, or "mono."
Mononucleosis, or "mono," is a viral infection. It is typically caused by the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) or cytomegalovirus (CMV). When someone has mononucleosis, their body produces antibodies to fight the virus. Heterophile antibodies are made by the body in response to a mononucleosis infection. Although heterophile antibodies are common during a mono infection, they are not specific for the virus and do not actually fight the infection.
The highest level of heterophile antibodies usually occurs within two to five weeks of infection. (They can remain in the blood for up to 1 year.) Therefore, this test is not usually used if symptoms have been present for longer than six months. Your healthcare provider may recommend another blood test to determine if you have an active infection.
In an adult, the blood sample is taken by placing a needle in a vein in the arm.
What should I ask my healthcare provider before having this test?
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