Mononucleosis (Mono) Tests

What is Mononucleosis (Mono)?

Mononucleosis (also known as mono) is an infection caused by the Epstein-Barr virus that is characterized by fatigue, swollen lymph nodes, fever, and sore throat. It is oftentimes referred to as the "kissing disease" since it is usually spread through contact with saliva.

Tests for Mononucleosis


Before undergoing testing for mononucleosis, patients should inform their healthcare provider of any medications they are taking, as well as allergies.


Testing for mononucleosis involves a physical examination and one or more of the following tests: Complete Blood Count (CBC), Monospot Test, or Serology.


  • Complete Blood Count (CBC) – A complete blood count evaluates the number of red and white blood cells and platelets in the blood. It helps to indicate if there is an infection present.
  • Monospot Test – This is a screening test for the Epstein-Barr virus, and can detect an increase in particular types of white blood cells that are seen in people with mono.
  • Serology – Serology is the use of a blood sample to detect antibodies to the Epstein-Barr virus, which indicates prior exposure and potential active infection.


Testing for mononucleosis is a safe procedure and carries minimal risks. Possible risks include bruising or infection at the site of the blood draw or injection.


Testing for mononucleosis is used to diagnose the condition and rule out other causes of similar symptoms.


Testing for mononucleosis is often done if symptoms persist for more than two weeks, if the patient was recently exposed to the Epstein-Barr virus, or if the patient is pregnant and has not been previously exposed.