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Epstein-Barr virus

Getting to know the virus

EBV facts

95 %

of the world’s population is infected with the

Epstein-Barr virus, but few people know it.

+ de 30


related diseases: cancers, autoimmune diseases, neurodegenerative diseases….


Mainly hosted in B lymphocytes, EBV remains in the body for life. It does not disappear.


Normally “dormant” under the control of the immune system, it can be reactivated if the immune system fails.

Mononucleosis is the primary infection

It is often mistaken for other infections and is sometimes asymptomatic.


Mononucleosis is the primary infection. It is often mistaken for other infections and is sometimes asymptomatic.

Maladies associées au virus Epstein Barr
EBV, a double-stranded DNA virus of the herpes family, is one of the most common viruses involved in human diseases. A large part of the population is exposed to EBV at an early age. By adulthood, 95% of the population has been exposed. The virus is spread in saliva, hence the nickname “kissing disease”.

Those exposed to EBV in childhood usually have mild symptoms, if any. People first exposed to EBV in their teens or adulthood usually develop mononucleosis, a more severe disease with severe fatigue, a sore throat, low-grade fever, swollen lymph nodes, headache and an enlarged spleen. The syndrome gradually disappears, but the resulting fatigue may last for a long time.

Once the initial EBV infection has cleared – whether in childhood or adulthood – the virus remains dormant in the salivary glands and other lymphoid tissues. However, any immune system failure can reactivate the virus.

EBV, The EveryBody’s Virus
Explanations by Dr. Emmanuel Drouet

EBV and humanity evolve together.
If you want to understand the immune system,
study the Epstein-Barr virus.

Dr. Damilare Faniran - Researcher