What is Heterophile?
Heterophile antibodies are antibodies induced by external antigens (heterophile antigens).
Some cross-react with self-antigens. For example, in rheumatic fever, antibodies against group A streptococcal cell walls can also react with (and thus damage) human heart tissues. These are considered heterophile antibodies.
In clinical diagnosis, the heterophile antibody test specifically refers to a rapid test for antibodies produced against the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), the causative agent of infectious mononucleosis.