In the results of my blood tests for years, the result appears - EBV IGM - BORDERLINE - What does this mean? And what can you do with it? I will note that I have been suffering from fatigue and weakness for many years now. Thanks in advance
ebv igm borderline
Posted 14 June 2019 - 04:03 PM
This is a test for the presence of IgM antibodies in your blood as a result of a recent infection with Epstein-Barr virus (also known as infectious mononucleosis, kissing disease, glandular fever). If these antibodies are found in your blood you have signs of a recent infection or a re-activation of an old infection.
The virus is one of the very wide-spread Herpesvirus family and is very infectious. Most people when infected with the virus show symptoms similar to a cold and then develop life-long immunity to the virus, but the virus can and does reside in the body, just like other Herpes viruses do (cold-sores - this is why they can re-develop under stress, it is the virus residing in the body), and like other herpes viruses can reactivate, but it only does this rarely. A few of the people infected will develop glandular fever and become more typically sick with protracted fever, lethargy and fatigue among other symptoms.
The tests measure how much of the antibody you have in your blood and there is a level at which you are defined as definitely having had the virus present. The tests have some error in them as a result of non-specific reactions (i.e. they measure IgM from other infections to some extent too). Now, the result is a range designed to encompass most of the cases of infection. Sometimes people present with a borderline result - this means that the test has measured some antibody, but the amount is too near the limits of the test to say anything definite about you having had the infection. They may ask for a follow-up test where they look at a different type of antibody called IgG which would indicate an infection that happened a while ago and is the "long lasting" body response that allows the body to identify infections that you have had in the past and fight those off more effectively. This is the sort of antibody that vaccinations aim to increase.