September 20, 2020

Video Showing How Rapid Mono Tests Work

new video has been made describing how a rapid mono test is performed to check for mononucleosis or kissing disease caused by the epstein bar virus (EBV). Not only is the procedure explained, but also how the testing itself is carried out to determine whether a patient is mono test positive or not. For those inclined, the science behind rapid mono testing is described at the latter half of the video. Hint! It's called a lateral flow immunoassay incorporating both cow proteins and mouse antibodies!

Keep in mind that this test may be falsely negative for mono if performed too soon (within 2 weeks of illness onset).

Rapid mono test kits can be purchased by anybody to be done at home which may save parents/patients money in doctor visits as well as getting an answer right away. Indeed, should mono testing be positive, than you know that the patient is contagious... and that there's not much to do other than give it time to resolve. A doctor visit may still be worthwhile since there are other possible causes of a sore throat including strep throat, canceraphthous ulcersinus infectionreflux, etc.

Such home kits (which in fact are the same kits used in medical offices) can be purchased online through Amazon. The price is surprisingly affordable at around the cost of a single copay...  ~$40 to do 15 tests. There is also a rapid strep test kit that you can also purchase for about the same price as well as a rapid flu test kit.

However, with the purchase of such DIY kits, there are some pitfalls patients should be aware of if they decide to proceed. Essentially, you must follow the directions precisely, otherwise the test results will be unreliable. In other words, if the directions state to wait exactly five minutes to read the results, than one should wait literally 5 minutes... no longer or shorter.

For those who have done laboratory benchwork, the directions are reminiscent of performing a chemical experiment.

Should patients elect to start performing home mono testing, please be aware that physicians will be obligated to not only REPEAT the testing but also examine the patient to ensure no other issues are present.

1) Repeat testing is required because the patient may not have followed the instructions precisely resulting in an incorrect result. For example, the test cartridge must be read at 5-8 minutes (variable depending on the kit). If test results are read past 10 minutes, it may incorrectly show a positive result.
2) Some patients unfortunately fabricate test results just so they can get a certain treatment without an office visit.
3) Some patients unfortunately also fabricate test results in order to skip work or school for personal reasons not related to an actual medical condition. 

Fauquier blog
Fauquier ENT

Dr. Christopher Chang is a private practice otolaryngology, head & neck surgeon specializing in the treatment of problems related to the ear, nose, and throat. Located in Warrenton, VA about 45 minutes west of Washington DC, he also provides inhalant allergy testing/treatment, hearing tests, and dispenses hearing aids.

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