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EBV test

John Brunstein brunstei at UNIXG.UBC.CA
Thu Apr 27 16:57:10 EST 1995

	First, a disclaimer....I'm NOT an immunologist so what I'm about 
to say is a little out of my field; if what I say is erroneous, please 
feel free to flame me.
	B-cell levels (or more easily measured gamma-globulin levels) 
such as 'stormbri' is suggesting could be measured as an indicator for 
chronic EBV infection vary widely from a number of causes, both due to 
mild concurrent infections and due to genetic anomalies.  In this latter 
catagory Benign Monoclonal Gammopathy comes to mind in particular, as it 
causes an asymptomatic increase in a specific B-cell line along with 
large elevations in gamma-globulin levels.  This particular 'disease' is 
in fact quite common, with ~3% of people having it by middle age.
	In short, B-cell levels are not a very useful diagnostic for the 
suggested purpose both due to thier non-specificity as an infection 
marker and the not insignificant probability of observing abnormally high 
levels without a disease state.

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