mononucleosis


mononucleosis
/mon'euh nooh'klee oh"sis, -nyooh'-/, n. Pathol.
1. the presence of an abnormally large number of mononuclear leukocytes, or monocytes, in the blood.
[1915-20; MONONUCLE(AR) + -OSIS]

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      infection in humans, caused by the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), whose most common symptoms are fever, general malaise, and sore throat. The disease occurs predominantly in persons from 10 to 35 years old, but it is known to appear at any age. Infection of young children by the EBV usually causes little or no illness, although it does confer immunity against mononucleosis.

      Mononucleosis is transmitted primarily by oral contact with exchange of saliva, hence its popular name, “the kissing disease.” The incubation period is thought to be about 30 to 40 days. The disease incapacitates individuals for varying periods of time; some affected people are physically fit for normal activities within two or three weeks, while others remain ill for as long as two months. The most common symptoms are fatigue and sore throat. In some cases the only signs of the disease are fever and generalized discomfort; in these cases, the diagnosis is made by study of the blood. The throat is often red, and there is usually a thick, white coating, or membrane, on each tonsil. Swelling of the lymph nodes in the neck, armpits, and groin—for which the disease is sometimes called glandular fever—occurs in some people. Changes in the white blood cells and serum of the blood are detected by a special test. There is no specific therapy. Antibiotics are of value only for the secondary bacterial infections of the throat that occur in some cases.

      Epstein-Barr virus is the principal cause of infectious mononucleosis. The virus was first isolated from tumour cells of children with a form of cancer called Burkitt lymphoma. Later research showed that children can develop antibodies (antibody) to this virus early in life, evidence that they have been infected with it, though without exhibiting any illness and certainly without any signs of tumour growth or of infectious mononucleosis. Mononucleosis thus seems to occur only in those who escaped Epstein-Barr virus infection in childhood. Other causes of infectious mononucleosis include cytomegalovirus and Toxoplasma gondii.

      In about two-thirds of mononucleosis patients, the spleen is enlarged; death has occurred in rare cases from rupture of this organ. A rash consisting of multiple small hemorrhages or resembling that of measles or scarlet fever sometimes appears. pneumonia is present in about 2 percent of the cases. Involvement of the liver, as shown by chemical tests, is almost universally present; severe disease of the liver with jaundice is rare. encephalitis, meningitis, or peripheral neuritis occurs uncommonly; death has followed the encephalitis. The heart is rarely affected. Swelling of the upper eyelids is a common finding. In rare cases the urine may contain blood.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • mononucleosis — presencia de un gran número de leucocitos mononucleares en la sangre. La mononucleosis infecciosa está producida por el virus de Epstein Barr y en ocasiones por citomegalovirus de la familia de los Herpes. También se la conoce como la enfermedad… …   Diccionario médico

  • mononucleosis — [män΄ō no͞o΄klē ō′sis, män΄ōnyo͞o΄klē ō′sis] n. [ MONO + NUCLE(US) + OSIS] 1. INFECTIOUS MONONUCLEOSIS 2. the presence in the blood of an excessive number of cells having a single nucleus …   English World dictionary

  • mononucleosis — (n.) 1920, coined from MONONUCLEAR (Cf. mononuclear) + Mod.L. OSIS (Cf. osis) abnormal condition …   Etymology dictionary

  • mononucleosis — f. Med. Exceso de monocitos en la sangre, debido a ciertos tipos de infecciones …   Diccionario de la lengua española

  • Mononucleosis — Exudative pharyngitis in someone with infectious mononucleosis Cervical lymp …   Wikipedia

  • Mononucleosis — ► sustantivo femenino 1 MEDICINA Aumento del número de los glóbulos blancos mononucleares presentes en la sangre. IRREG. plural mononucleosis FRASEOLOGÍA mononucleosis infecciosa MEDICINA Enfermedad vírica benigna cuyos síntomas son amigdalitis,… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Mononucleosis — Infection with the Epstein Barr virus (EBV, human herpesvirus 4, HHV 4) in which there is an increase of white blood cells that have a single nucleus (monocytes). The infection can be spread by saliva. Its incubation period is four to eight weeks …   Medical dictionary

  • mononucleosis — n. (AE) infectious mononucleosis (CE has glandular fever) * * * (AE) infectious mononucleosis (CE has glandular fever) …   Combinatory dictionary

  • mononucleosis — {{#}}{{LM M26400}}{{〓}} {{[}}mononucleosis{{]}} ‹mo·no·nu·cle·o·sis› {{◆}}(pl. mononucleosis){{◇}} {{《}}▍ s.f.{{》}} Aumento anormal del número de un determinado tipo de glóbulos blancos en la sangre. {{★}}{{\}}ETIMOLOGÍA:{{/}} De mono (uno),… …   Diccionario de uso del español actual con sinónimos y antónimos

  • mononucleosis — noun Etymology: New Latin, from International Scientific Vocabulary mononuclear + New Latin osis Date: 1920 an abnormal increase of mononuclear white blood cells in the blood; specifically infectious mononucleosis …   New Collegiate Dictionary


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