Published: 2017-01-05

Evaluation of infectious mononucleosis status among a cohort of dental students

Bhuvan Nagpal, Sreeshyla H. S., Arnaw Kishore, Usha Hegde, Archana S., M. N. Sumana


Background: Infectious mononucleosis (IM) is a self-limiting disease caused by Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). It is transmitted by saliva and presents with a fever lasting for one to two weeks. Dentists are exposed to saliva while carrying out dental procedures and hence are at a risk of contacting this infection. Not many studies exist indicating the seroprevalence of IM among dentists globally and none in the Indian Scenario. Hence, the present study was undertaken to assess the seroprevalence of IM and thus create awareness among dental students. The aim and objectives of the study was to evaluate the seroprevalence of IM among a specific cohort of dental students in a South Indian Dental School.

Methods: Blood samples were drawn and serum was separated as per standard method. Rapid IM test Immutex kit (Tulip Diagnostics Ltd, Goa) was used for detection of heterophile antibodies. Absence of any agglutination indicated negative result.

Results: The seroprevalence of IM was found to be low (9%), with no difference between the sexes. 3rd year dental students followed by Final year students showed the most number of positive cases.

Conclusions: The prevalence of IM among dental students was low yet its presence in 9% of students cannot be overlooked. This could be either due to improper follow of universal precautions of sharing of objects such as lip balm, water bottles, straws etc. The 3rd year students constituted the maximum number of total positive cases. This can be justified by the fact that dental students come in contact with patient saliva in their 3rd year of their graduation.


Infectious Mononucleosis, Epstein-Barr virus, Dental students, Heterophile antibodies, Seroprevalence

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