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Corticosteroid therapy in glandular fever

Abstract

The cause of glandular fever (infectious mononucleosis) is unknown but is widely-believed to be viral. This belief is supported only by indirect evidence such as exclusion of other infective agents, failure to respond to antibiotics, and the recent discovery1 2 that during an attack of glandular fever patients develop specific antibodies to the Epstein-Barr virus. But repeated attempts to isolate a virus, and to infect volunteers have all failed, and this failure raises the possibility that glandular fever may be a non-specific response to a variety of agents, or an exaggerated lymphoid response to a virus infection.

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