IL-18 serum concentration is markedly elevated in acute EBV infection and can serve as a marker for disease severity.
ABSTRACT Epstein Barr virus (EBV)-related diseases encompass both acute infections that result in acute infectious mononucleosis and chronic infections that result in lymphoproliferative malignant diseases. While classical inflammatory parameters such as C-reactive protein (CRP) have proven their usefulness during bacterial and fungal infections, they are often low and nondiscriminatory in viral infections. Here, we show that IL-18 is markedly elevated during acute EBV infections and EBV-associated diseases, while ferritin concentrations are also elevated during acute EBV infection and correlate with IL-18. Therefore, IL-18 and ferritin may represent infection markers for viral infections such as EBV, similar to CRP for bacterial infections.