EBV antibodies are proteins produced by the body in an immune response to several different Epstein-Barr virus antigens. Included are IgM and IgG antibodies to the viral capsid antigen (VCA), IgG antibodies to the D early antigen (EA-D), and antibodies to the nuclear antigen (EBNA). During a primary EBV infection, each of the EBV antibodies appears independently on its own time schedule. The VCA-IgM antibody appears first and tends to disappear after about 4 to 6 weeks. The VCA-IgG antibody emerges, at its maximum is at 2 to 4 weeks, then drops slightly, stabilizes, and is present for life. The EA-D antibody appears during the acute infection phase, then tends to disappear within 3 to 6 months, but about 20% of those infected will continue to have detectible quantities of the EA-D antibody for several years after the EBV infection has resolved. The EBNA antibody does not usually appear until after the acute infection has resolved. It usually develops about 2 to 4 months after initial infection and is present for life. Using a combination of these EBV antibody tests, a doctor can detect an EBV infection and determine whether it is a current, recent, or past infection.