Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) Viral Capsid Antigen (VCA) Antibody IgG
Fasting Required: No

Specimen: Blood

Lab: Quest Diagnostics

Results: 2-3 business days

Note: Result turnaround times are an estimate and are not guaranteed. Our reference lab may need additional time due to weather, holidays, confirmation/repeat testing, or equipment maintenance.

Description: EBV is a member of the herpesvirus family and is one of the most common human viruses. The virus occurs worldwide, and most people become infected with EBV sometime during their lives. In the United States, as many as 95% of adults between 35 and 40 years of age have been infected. Transmission of EBV requires contact with the saliva of an infected person. The incubation period, or the time from infection to appearance of symptoms, ranges from 4 to 6 weeks. IgG antibody appears in the acute phase of EBV, peak at 2 to 4 weeks after onset and then decline slightly. IgG generally falls to undetectable levels after 3 to 6 months.

However, care must be taken with interpreting EBV antibody concentrations as the amount of antibody present does not correlate with the severity of the infection or with the length of time it will last. High levels of VCA-IgG may be present and may persist at that concentration for the rest of a person's life.