Serum antibodies to Epstein-Barr virus in patients with major depressive disorder

J. D. Amsterdam, W. Henle, A. Winokur, O. M. Wolkowitz, D. Pickar, S. M. Paul

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


To determine whether major depressive disorder might be associated with serologic evidence for a chronic active Epstein-Barr virus infection, viral-specific antibodies were measured in two separate groups of depressed patients (N = 43) and in 46 appropriately matched healthy volunteers. No evidence that depression affects cellular immunity to the point that a persistent Epstein-Barr virus carrier state becomes activated was found. There was also no evidence that depression results from an unrecognized chronic active Epstein-Barr virus infection. The authors conclude that the routine clinical determination of expensive commercial Epstein-Barr virus antibody profiles is not indicated in most patients with major depressive disorder in the absence of other signs of chronic active Epstein-Barr viral infection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1593-1596
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Psychiatry
Issue number12
StatePublished - 1986


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