Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is a common human pathogen that infects over 95% of the population worldwide. In the present study, the whole transcriptome microarray data were generated from peripheral blood mononuclear cells from Chinese children with acute infectious mononucleosis (AIM) and chronic active EBV infection (CAEBV) that were also compared with a publicly available microarray dataset from a study of American college students with AIM. Our study characterized for the first time a broad spectrum of molecular signatures in AIM and CAEBV. The key findings from the transcriptome profiling were validated with qPCR and flow cytometry assays. The most important finding in our study is the discovery of predominant γδ TCR expression and γδ T cell expansion in AIM. This finding, in combination with the striking up-regulation of CD3, CD8 and CD94, suggests that CD8+ T cells and CD94+ NK cells may play a major role in AIM. Moreover, the unique up-regulation of CD64A/B and its significant correlation with the monocyte marker CD14 was observed in CAEBV and that implies an important role of monocytes in CAEBV. In conclusion, our study reveals major cell types (particularly γδ T cells) in the host cellular immune response against AIM and CAEBV.